SCRIPTURE: LUKE 2: 13-14
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
REFLECTION by Pat Cole
When our girls were young, we had a little Advent booklet with the weekly readings and ideas for home crafts for the family. We sat down together one night a week to read the advent lesson and make advent crafts. There was immediate resistance and grousing to this “cheesy” idea each week when we sat down with the booklet and materials I had ready for each project. But as the weeks progressed, I remember that they looked forward to it. We made a yule log, and had cutouts of the three wise men and colored them. I remember we made something with a small pinecone, and angels were involved. I still have the shoebox with some supplies and the booklet in it. That was all I could remember without going into the dreaded attic to find it. I checked with our daughters who are in their 30s now to see how they remember those nights.
Lindsey, the younger sister only remembers the yule log I made for dessert one year. That was food related and fairly recent, and even I remember making it. Emily doesn’t remember the specific activities involved, but she does remember that at first she thought it was cheesy to make them sit down with us once a week and do a family craft together.
Emily has good memories of family time together. Saturday nights we listened to Prairie Home Companion on public radio, and ate fondue, and Sunday nights we watched Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins and the Muppet Show together. She says she felt connected and bonded as a family.
Time together is never wasted even if the kids mess up the projects and complain about having to do them. Taking the time to read the weekly Advent reading together and putting all our other responsibilities and busyness aside plants a seed. Our families may not remember the details, but they will remember how much we love them. One of the best ways we can show our love is by helping our families remember what Advent is about and how much God loves them.
Gracious God, make us able to see your favor in our lives and let it be for us a guide to live in union with you, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
God, grant to the living, grace; to the departed, rest; to the Church; peace, and to all your people everywhere; Your favor, in the name of the one Who made us, Who loves us, and who is always with us. Amen.