When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. ~~~ Luke 2:15-16, New International Version
When I was young, we lived in several parts of the country. Most holidays would be marked with a family gathering and shared meal. Whatever relatives were nearby and available were part of those events, and the role of host home was rotated among all.
But Christmas was different. Christmas morning was a time for my sister and I to be with our parents. We’d play Christmas carols on the record player, stay in our pajamas most of the morning, try out new toys, and enjoy the sparkly “icicles” and lights on the tree. Later, dinner would be a special meal prepared by both Mom and Dad. Regardless of where we were living at the time, the time together made it special.
As in the original Christmas story, when Mary and Joseph celebrated the birth of Jesus in their makeshift home, the specific location of the home was less important than being together.
Prayer for Advent Hope (Joyce Rupp, O.S.M.): Help me to sit quietly in hope, and to close my eyes to create space to entrust myself to you, O God. Amen.
Wanda G., Morgan Hill United Methodist Church