And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:8-14
I didn’t grow up with any sort of Advent practices or traditions. Of course, we always had the day sometime after Thanksgiving where we lugged out the old toilet brush Christmas tree, that my dad so affectionately named. You know the kind, the old “fake” tree that looked ragged and had color-coded branches that you had to match to the tree to make it look at least a little like a tree. We would decorate with all my mom’s knickknacks and of course, set up the nativity.
This week we started the process of decorating for Christmas at our home. A tradition that involves lugging up all the boxes, the Christmas tree, and making space in our house to set up things near and dear to us that we have gathered and collected over the years. One of the most cherished things for me is this nativity that my mom used to set up every year. Complete with all the characters from the story, and has been my tradition to set up every Christmas. Each year, as I place the pieces in the nativity, I am reminded of the care that my mom took to set the pieces in place, to tell the story, and how often we were told not to touch it.
It seems healing this year to pull all of those items out of the boxes, and to set up our own toilet brush of a tree, though they have greatly improved since the ’80s. This year, Weston helped to set up my mom’s nativity. Watching an eight-year-old lovingly place all the pieces, making sure that they all had a birds-eye view of baby Jesus can sure tell the story again. It was an opportunity to talk about my memories of the season, and to start new memories with him.
This season, as you explore what Advent means to you, I pray that you would be reminded of the Good News that surrounds you. May you find great joy and make new memories that keep you with a birds-eye view of the manger.
Let us pray…
Loving God, we pray for this community gathered here and their journey through this Advent season. Help us create memories with all around us, memories that focus us back to the manger and to you. In your name. Amen.
To the Writers
of this devotional: