Advent 2010

December 18 – Saturday in the octave leading up to Christmas

O antiphon*

O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and gave him the Law on Sinai. O come and save us with your mighty power

Thought for today

Gingerbread houseIt was a week before Christmas and Lauren was at her local Westfield looking for presents for the family. She‘d been there an hour and hadn’t found anything. Feeling tired and frustrated she sat down at a coffee bar and ordered a cappuccino.

As she sat there quietly the frustration left her and she wondered, ‘Why am I doing this? All this running around?’  It was because she loved her family and she wanted to surprise them at Christmas. But it was more than that. ‘I actually feel pressured to get Christmas right’ she said to herself. ‘Everyone does it.’

Lauren decided there and then she was going to cook something for each of the family, something they liked.  She pulled out a pencil and paper from her hand bag and jotted down a few notes for herself.

  • Fruit pies for her son, Peter; he would keep a tin of them by his bed as he did last year.
  • A ginger bread house for her youngest, Rosie; they would enjoy baking it together.
  • For the love of her life, she would make a pudding even better than his mother’s.
  • And for the baby, still ten weeks away ... Lauren wondered about Christmases to come.

She jotted down the ingredients she would need and headed down to the supermarket.

On Christmas morning Lauren was relaxed. She felt real and true to herself. She also felt blessed as she presented Andy, Peter and Rosie with the gifts she had lovingly made for them. Christmas that year was low key and high joy. ‘A good option’, Lauren thought, ‘because there would be five next year’.

Scripture  

May the Lord be generous in increasing your love and make you love one another and the whole human race as much as we love you.  And may he so confirm your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless in the sight of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus Christ comes with his saints.
-  1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

Prayer

By the long-awaited coming of your new-born Son deliver us, Lord, from the expectations of others. Free us from pride and lead us into the simplicity of knowing each other and believing in each other. We ask you this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Poetry extract 

A strong sense of community
Permeates your camp
So different, your time, your home,
Your gentle, peace-loving people
- From ‘A Song for Ota’, Part III – ‘Camp’, by Carrie Allen McCray

Musical reflection

‘The Servant King’ by the Maranatha Singers

* The seven ‘O Antiphons’ (they each begin with ‘O’) are age-old songs that are part of the Catholic Church’s liturgy for Evening Prayer. Each evening, for Advent’s last eight days leading up to Christmas, one of the antiphons is sung. Each antiphon addresses Jesus with a unique title taken from the Prophet Isaiah. 

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