The Hebrew name invoked in today's Advent antiphon means 'God is with us'. Isaiah's prophecy of the Messiah's birth (7:14), declares that the One to come as saviour will bear this name. The evangelists name Jesus as the one to fulfil Isaiah's inspired expression of hope in God's power to save his people. God present in human flesh, not in the abstract, but in the personal reality of this man whose story the recount.
O Emmanuel you are our king and judge,
the one whom the peoples await, and their Saviour.
O come and save us O Lord our God.
After lunch, we all drove up to Invermere, to a lakeside beach, where Rachel, John and Jasmine donned their skates, and went on the impromptu off shore ski rink created in the foot thick ice. Clare and I put on our cross country skis and went out on the Windermere Whiteway, created by the local Nordic ski club. It was Clare's first time on skis for more than ten years,something which gave us both great pleasure. We skied about five kilometres there and back, enough for a first outing. Apart from being very level, the piste was very smoothy dressed and great for getting up a measure of speed, though that's for another day.
We passed a couple of off-shore fisherman's huts - sheds dragged out on to the ice to shelter someone fishing through a hole in the ice. There was one guy fishing through a hole out in the open when we were on our return journey. There were a few chairs and benches on the ice in the middle of the skating ring, surrounding a brazier with a log fire, presumably to provide a respite for parents there, minding their kids. Even at four Jasmine is showing that she can do the skating basics. John and Rachel can skate and were having fun on their own behalf. Altogether a lovely experience.
We called at Jerry's ice cream parlour for a hot chocolate afterwards, and then went on to supper with the family of some friends of John and Rachel. It was good to be welcomed into a Canadian home and have a glimpse of the North American way of family life in situ. Afterwards, we drove across the lake from Invermere to Windermere village, a short-cut across the frozen lake in the dark. First the skiing, then the driving - two memorable firsts in one day!