With a hush and a whisper, accompanied by the day-long pitterpat of rain and frozen pizza for dinner, so begins my season of Advent.
It was a quiet, gentle day. I went to church, worked on my Christmas cards while watching a couple movies with my daughters, and made a trip out for groceries and some holiday cheer at Target. We all made dinner together, and began our Advent celebrations by bringing out our nativity sets and Advent cupboard, and getting things set up for the four weeks that lie ahead.
Oh sure, there were a few emotional outbursts, hurt feelings, and cross words. That's par for the course.
But overall, it was a cozy stay-at-home day, spent doing the simple things that families generally do together.
Also, it was the kind of day that reminds me of the importance of family. After all, despite the infinite options available to the Creator of the universe, God chose to send Jesus to earth as a baby, to be nurtured and protected and raised by a mother and a father, within the bonds of a particular family. That each one of us belongs to a specific group of people, no matter how messy, complicated, even downright dysfunctional they may sometimes be, must matter a lot to God.
Of course, we all know that families matter. But on this first Sunday of Advent, I'm reminded that the entire story of my life takes place within the context of my family, just as the story of Christmas unfolds from within the warm embrace of a little family from Nazareth.
And that is a very nice thought with which to begin my season of Advent.
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Read more about my Advent adventures: