December 18, 2020
December 18, 2020
This morning thinking about people I love, all I want for Christmas is time. Time to spend with those people…time to remember…time to enjoy and laugh and shed a few tears. There is nothing so important to me as their presence in my life. I copied a devotion that I wrote in 2000 below. It represents the way my mind is working these days. I wonder if I sound ‘old’. I only mean to sound grateful as I sit here in my chair with the dogs asleep and a hot cup of coffee beside me.
My beloved grandmother, Ma, was a private kindergarten teacher for 25 years. She had converted her back porch in a small Texas town to a schoolroom filled with small chairs and tables; colorful quilted pallets for naps; and a huge upright piano [that piano is now in my home]. I ‘formally’ attended that kindergarten when I was old enough to go, but spent many hours on that porch when kindergarten was not in session.
The door connecting the kindergarten to the house led into the kitchen, so that I could play on the porch and talk to Ma as she prepared our noontime ‘dinner’. It was on a flannel board angled by that door that I first memorized the Christmas story. Ma cooked and I recited, placing the flannel characters on the board to create the scenes in Luke’s gospel. Of all the ‘family treasures’ that might have come to me, I wish that old flannel board had been saved. It must have been sold along with all the kindergarten supplies when Ma retired.
My grandmother would say that the Christmas story was one filled with God’s Grace and Love, but I wonder if she might also agree that it is a story of ‘homecoming’. The story calls me home to her kitchen. I hear her voice and am a grandchild again…safe, beloved, at peace. When I consider my ‘eternal’ home, the home to which I am returning when my work here is finished, I hope; I plan; I pray; I demand, and I beg that it will be the home reflected in my grandmother’s love for me and for God.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- What is the most meaningful gift you could receive this Christmas? Why?
- From the study Advent Conspiracy consider how you might give intentionally and relationally. What gift would carry meaning in it for each of your family members or friends?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- Have a family meeting to decide which family times together are most important. Make a ‘gift’ of your commitment to be present and to fully participate.
Lord, during this season of Advent and Christmas, help us to walk through the door of the stable and into your arms. Amen.