Sunday, 11 December 2016

Sleigh Bells Ring ... are you listening

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,
In the lane, snow is glistening
A beautiful sight,
We're happy tonight,
Walking in a winter wonderland.
 Joe Nichols - Winter Wonderland Lyrics 

Sleigh Rides are a long time tradition of the congregation of St. Saviours where my DH serves as priest and with the juggling of my schedule I was able to participate in the fun and merry making.  In total there were four sleighs with approximately twenty people each.  It is a community building event that draws young and old.  The timing could not be better as we celebrate the third Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of Joy.

There is something lovely about the carol, winter wonderland!  And something even more spectacular when you can experience a sleigh ride this close to Christmas in the beautiful setting that we were in today at Birds Hill Park.  The day is a crisp one!  Approximately minus 20 and it is  necessary to be bundled up for sleigh rides but the cold is forgotten as the horse drawn sleighs, bells ringing, begin to pull up for everyone to pile on. In a very short time we are off and what a fantastic day it was, despite the cold.

We rode around the park for an hour, there was fabulous scenery and it often seemed magical as we went through the trails in the woods.  Snow sat like cotton balls on the branches and the evergreens were wearing beautiful dresses of white. This Sunday of joy was lived out in a very real way today as the people took time out of busy schedules to have spend with family and to celebrate the advent season sharing joy together.   We were reminded in the service today of the joy of Mary and Elizabeth as we draw closer to Christmas.  Joy is found in numerous ways and forms especially when a community comes together to make memories such as the ones that would have been made today by young and old alike.  

As we continue our journey through advent, preparing ourselves for the ultimate gift offered at Christmas we think of all that we have to hope for, the peace we continue to seek and then look around at how we have been blessed and there we will find not merely memories but true joy.

So when sleigh bells ring are you listening?  Can you picture the beautiful horses? And hear the laughter in the breeze as joy rings out all around?

Listen closely and in the memories you make you will see and hear the joy around you.

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