Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fourth and Final Advent 2012

Tonight we celebrated our last Advent for 2012. After 4 weeks, we kind of got the hang of it. Lily waited to blow out the candles til the end, Daniel listened without interrupting or getting up from the table (mostly).  Daniel and Lily both responded happily and intently to the gift giving.  In the end the best gift of all was indeed, celebrating our love for each other.
Come Christmas Come!

Fourth Sunday

Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go they way; 
first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift

Candle Lighting
Our lighted candle is glowing, 
making the darkness bright; 
shining on our family gathered here tonight.


The Moment of Magic
by Victoria E. Safford 
Now is the moment of magic,

when the whole, round earth turns again toward the sun,
      and here's a blessing:
the days will be longer and brighter now,
even before the winter settles in to chill us.
Now is the moment of magic,
when people beaten down and broken,
with nothing left but misery and candles and their own clear voices,
kindle tiny lights and whisper secret music,
      and here's a blessing:
the dark universe is suddenly illuminated by the lights of the menorah,
suddenly ablaze with the lights of the kinara,
and the whole world is glad and loud with winter singing.
Now is the moment of magic,
when an eastern star beckons the ignorant toward an unknown goal,
      and here's a blessing:
they find nothing in the end but an ordinary baby, 

born at midnight, 
born in poverty, 
and the baby's cry, 
like bells ringing,
makes people wonder as they wander through their lives,
what human love might really look like,
sound like,
feel like.
Now is the moment of magic,
      and here's a blessing:
we already possess all the gifts we need;
we've already received our presents:
ears to hear music,
eyes to behold lights, 

hands to build true peace on earth
and to hold each other tight in love.


We have learned all about Christmas the past 4 weeks. We have learned about the magical story of Jesus' birth.  We have learned that Jesus became a great teacher and leader.  He taught us to be Lights in the world, to Love one another. We learned that this is the season to make joyful noises and celebrate our love for each other. We were reminded of God's love for us, and of the miracle of each baby born in the world.   We have given you the gift of a candle, to remind you to share your light with the world.  We have given you bells, to remind you to make joyful noises. We gave you ornaments symbolizing something you love.  Tonight we gather for the last Advent Sunday this year, and we will give each other the best gift of all- our wishes for each other. 


Tonight we are giving a heart gift,  presents that cannot be bought or made, to each family member.  We will each take turns whispering a gift or a wish in each person's ear.  We will wish for them something that they love, or that will make them happy or that will help them do something they really want to do. We cannot see these gifts, but we can feel them in our hearts. Let's close our eyes for a moment to think of the heart gift we want to give to each person. 


Come Christmas!
Come, Love,
Come, Hope.
Be born in our unready hearts
On this silent and holy night.

We give thanks for Being,
We give thanks for being here
We give thanks for being here together.

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