Advent, Day 25: the gathering

We arrived at my in-laws’ house the other day.

Christmas decorations were making their way to countertops and windows, bulbs being strung on the tree and the nativity nestled by the fireplace.

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Trav’s parents bought stockings for all the grandkids this year. They hang together across the top of the fireplace, where a faux fire burns, little orange flames dancing behind brown logs.

If this isn’t the magic of Christmas, I don’t know what is.

Today, everyone will be hereРall six grandkids along with their parents, aunts and uncles.

We will gather for meals, laugh and most likely cry a little.

This is a year for giving thanks for new life, for new adventures, for new perspectives on what it means to walk these paths.

On Christmas morning, we will rush down the stairs and kids will dig through stockings and we will do the necessary and wonderful gift-giving.

And we will look around the room and remember why we’re all even here,

what it means to laugh and cry and be human and know Spirit things, even though we know little.

We gather here because of the Infant-King, born of Mary, fathered by Joseph from His birth.

We gather here because God has always called us in, beckoned us to the good and kind and mysterious ways of grace.

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All we need this Christmas is a new set of stockings on the mantel to remind us,

a light in the church,

a dusting of snow outside the window,

and the commonality of our hearts gathered at the manger scene after a long Advent wait.

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