Love Thy Nerd
Love Nerds + Engage Culture + Build Community

LTN Advent Calendar 2018: Peace and Rakuen

As we enter the season of Christmas, the Love Thy Nerd writers want to share moments from nerd culture that resonate with them and reflect the weeks of the Advent calendar.

Week 4 – Peace – Angel’s Candle

The holiday season is one of the most exciting times of the year. Plans are made. Journeys are taken. Gifts purchased. But more often than not, the holidays bring out the worst memories. Disappointment abounds. Trauma resurfaces. Grief attacks. Mary & Joseph found themselves in a distant city with nowhere to stay but a stable. Water broken, Mary lay in the straw, her husband before her on his knees and a donkey braying in her ear. Talk about a perfectly planned Christmas, yet, “Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19

How!? How is it that in the face of what could have been the worst experiences of her young life was Mary able to treasure the event? She just gave birth to her first child in a stable, laying him in a manager. Mary had every reason to remember this season with bitterness, but she instead treasured it because in the midst of the pain she received the best gift of all. He brought her peace.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

In Laura Shigihara’s Rakuen, we encounter another mother and son who have every reason to grow bitter. However, as they journey together, the Mother becomes the peace-giver, for she silently follows the Boy as he navigates mortality, coming to terms with not only his father’s passing but also his friends’ deaths and eventually his own. The Mother speaks when the Boy asks for help until he no longer can. Then, she comes to him in his pain, finding him wrapped up in grief—grief much like the kind the holiday season leaves wrapped under the tree. She reminds him of the stars that shine in the darkest of nights; she gives him hope, which brings him peace.

As we remember Christ’s first coming this holiday season, looking forward to His second coming, we reflect on the hope, joy, and faith that He has brought us. This is where we find peace in the midst of holiday darkness. He shines bright and has given us His peace. He is here, and everything will be alright. He is right here by our sides as we walk through the night.

You can read the rest of the 2018 LTN Advent Calendar here.

Featured image “candle” by davidpwhelan (Morguefile license, resized).

Associate Editor
Jon Campoverde is a high-school science teacher who spends most of his time reading and playing any game he can with the occasional writing project when he finds the time. Jon lives with his wife Stephanie in North Texas with their daughter, three cats, and one dog. You can find him on Twitter @jcamp_over_day or on Twitch @ twitch.tv/Allention

Reader Comments

Related Content

Rise & Shine, Nerds 49 | The Fun Side of A.I.

Radio Matt & Deidra celebrate a change of pace where A.I. is actually making some really cool stuff, like one last song from The Beatles or a voice chat filter for Doritos crunch noises. Plus, how soon is too soon to start celebrating Christmas?

Today in Nerd History | October 13

A daily re-cap of this date in the history of movies, TV shows, video games, comics, wrestling and more!

Rise & Shine, Nerds 45 | Shoe Boxes, Speed 3, & Saving Mary

Radio Matt & Deidra are joined by Thomas Manning from Operation Christmas Child to discuss how a simple shoebox gift can have an Eternal Impact on a family and a community. Plus, kidnapped by a runaway electric car! And the Atari 2600 is having its best year since 1982! All this and a lot more.

Today in Nerd History | October 5

A daily re-cap of this date in the history of movies, TV shows, video games, comics, wrestling and more!

Church Nerds 86 | The Christmas Eve Eve Special

Bubba & Anna share nerdy Christmas traditions here at home and around the world in this special Christmas Eve Eve episode.

Back Row 537 – 540 | Tier-Ranking Christmas Movies & Specials

In the final weeks of shows for the year and Season 9, Radio Matt & Mo have a low-key Christmas, ranking Christmas Movies and Specials, chatting with the Back Row Buds about Christmas Music, and playing the Christmas Edition of Sunday School Answers. Plus, more fun Christmas stuff.

Free Play 164 | Nerds of Christmas Past

Free Play’s “cut-man”, CJ Burroughs, suggested Bubba, Matt & Kate chat about some of their memories about nerdy Christmas gifts that they received as young nerds way back when. They also want to cover the 2022 Game Awards Game of the Year nominees and throw their guesses out ahead of the award show next week. This is the Season 7 finale!

Merry Christmas, Nerds | The Complete LTN Resource List

Christmastime is here. And we like to keep our yuletide nerdy here at Love Thy Nerd. Here is a collection of Christmas-focused articles, podcasts, and videos to make you think, pray, laugh, and prepare for the most festive day of the year.