Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent 3: Of Mary and Gingerbread

Today I read the part of Mary.  It's not a Christmas pageant, but more of a reader's theatre kind of approach.  Still, I'm not sure I've ever read the part of Mary.  Faithful readers of this blog will know that I played the part of an angel in childhood pageants, but always yearned to be Mary.

Today, I shall read the Magnificat, and I imagine that we need to hear those words, even more than we usually do.  We need to be assured that God loves the lowly.  We need to be reminded that justice will be restored.

And then we'll go to the fellowship hall to decorate gingerbread people.  Our church does this every year.  I caught myself saying to a non-church friend, "It's more fun than it sounds."  And then I paused and said, "Actually, it does sound like fun to me."

Indeed, it is.  Everybody brings decorating materials, and we have a great time.  And yes, we can eat them.

What's even better is that we are joined by teenagers from our local shelter, teenagers who can't be with their families for some reason, probably dire.  As much as I love decorating these cookies, those kids love it even more.  I suspect that they don't get to have many moments of holiday brightness.  It's good to be able to be part of that.

It's good to beat back the darkness, in whatever way we can.  For some of us, it's hearing the stirring message of the Advent stories.  For some of us, it's decorating holiday cookies.  It's good to gather in community and to broaden our definition of community, to include those who need a wider community.  It's good to light our candles in whatever way we can.

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