Forgotten Altars? Take Another Look!

Christmas is a busy time of year for many of us. There are extra services at church, the children’s programs, entertaining and gatherings with family and friends. Sometimes it seems the list is never-ending.

In the midst of the hustle and bustle, we decorate our homes and our churches in celebration of the gift of the New Born King.

This holiday season, we were visiting with family. Our gatherings are not the same as they were in years past. We no longer visit the home where we all grew up.  That home,  after our parents had been there for more than 50 years has passed on to new owners.  And so life changes. While we no longer gather in the same family room to open packages or cook in the kitchen,  we still gather together for the h.olidays. The new place for our family gatherings is still a place of joy and blessing.

Last weekend we enjoyed time with our parents at their assisted living residence. And being a Grandmother of a darling little 5-month-old girl, I had the delightful task of strolling leisurely up and down the hallways while walking my little one to sleep. We needed a quite place to walk for as all Grandmas know busy little 5-month-olds love to look at their world, and so this is what we found as a perfect quiet retreat. As baby snuggled in for a nap, I had the fun of looking and enjoying all of the holiday decorations.

This little chapel sits in the corner of a larger room. A great deal of care has been taken with the chapel. There is an Advent stand with the Advent candles, a cross in the corner on the wall, the hymn board, the candles and book stand on the altar, and the altar linens. And of course, the altar hangings were of great interest. The scene in the altar antependium is that of the manger in a circle or nimbus with the star. The various blues of the background indicate the shades of the nighttime sky. My curiosity was piqued!  Without waking Baby, I walked over to take a closer look.

On closer inspection, the little frontal had, even more, charm, for it appears to be a woven piece. I am no expert in weaving and have no idea how this was really made, but were I to guess, it had the look of various rug type weaving pieces that I have seen in the past. The piece has a charm about it. That charm may come as a result knowing that it was hand-made. Or, maybe the charm comes in knowing that in this place, someone has taken care to ensure that the altar of the Lord is prepared for the services that will take place in this tiny chapel.

I have passed by the little chapel many times, but this time it caught my attention, or perhaps I took the time while walking the baby while seeking a place of solitude to really notice the beauty of this little Chapel. There are always unexpected things of beauty awaiting us – if we only take the time to see them.

As you enjoy your Holiday travels and visits, take a moment and enjoy the beauty that may be found in unexpected places. You never know what you may find!

Soli Deo Gloria

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