My Advent Calendar

Diana Butler Bass 12-23-2008

This morning's window opened to a picture of Joseph, Mary's husband and Jesus' earthly father.

Diana Butler Bass 12-22-2008

As the days grow shorter, darker, and colder, our longing for the light intensifies. In these lengthened days of winter, the Advent calendar window opened to reveal Mary, the mother of Jesus, the one who carried light into the world.

Diana Butler Bass 12-17-2008

A set of double doors marked "17" on my Advent calendar opened to a charming image of a minister surrounded by children.

My first thought was of one of the most famous passages in the New Testament:

Diana Butler Bass 12-15-2008

This morning, I found window 15 outside the church building on the stairs leading up to the cathedral door. Upon opening it, a picture of a smiling family greeted me-a father, mother, and two children.

Diana Butler Bass 12-13-2008

The December 13 window opens to the fourth gospel-the eagle symbol of the evangelist John.

Diana Butler Bass 12-12-2008

Following on the theme of the last two windows, Dec. 12 on the Advent calendar opened to a picture of an ox with a book-the symbol of the gospel of Luke.

Diana Butler Bass 12-11-2008

Not surprisingly, when I opened the eleventh window, it revealed a picture of a lion holding a book-the ancient Christian symbol for Mark the evangelist.

Diana Butler Bass 12-10-2008

As I opened window 10, I had to squint to see a small angelic figure holding a book-the traditional Christian symbol for Matthew, the gospel writer. Although Christmas conjures images of angels, the Matthew sign isn't an angel. His symbol is a human being with wings.

Diana Butler Bass 12-09-2008

I had a hard time finding window nine, an elusive little door hidden in the bushes outside of the cathedral. When I opened it, there was a picture of one of the most famous of Jesus' stories: The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).

Diana Butler Bass 12-06-2008

When I opened the sixth window on the Advent calendar, a very traditional Christian picture greeted me: a shepherd carrying a sheep.

Diana Butler Bass 12-05-2008

I'm on the road this morning. So I called my husband and asked him to open the fifth window on the Advent calendar. "What it is?" I asked. "Singing," he replied. "Not angels. No heavenly choir. People. People singing."

Diana Butler Bass 12-04-2008

The fourth window of my Advent calendar opened to reveal a deer in the snow, a nostalgic vision of winter. A frosty Christmas card scene.

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