Well, yesterday was the first day of our advent experiment where we hope to do one special thing each day leading up to Christmas to buck the commercial trends of Christmas and to help focus on the spiritual (if you have not had a chance to read my wife's blog on the topic then check out the last few posts over there: www.zoo-ology.blogspot.com ) We decided to start off simple and reflective, focusing our hearts at the beginning of our journey and so we gathered together by our nativity scene in the living room and with lights dimmed we read the Christmas story from Luke 2 together, sang Away in A Manger and prayed together. Two moments still stick out to me. First was when we began to sing Away in A Manger and my youngest daughter T.J. reached up behind her to the nativity set, carefully took the baby Jesus and began to rock Him...oh so cute. Soon after we finished singing, and just before we began to pray, again T.J. had a moment. She stopped us to ask,
"What is baby Jesus in?"
"A manger" said her mother.
"What is that?" asked T.J.
"A feed trough, where they would have put the food for the animals to eat." explained her mother."
"Blechhh." whispered T.J. expressing her disapproval, yet in a hushed, reverential tone.
And that really brought things home to me. This juxtaposition. The reverence of the occasion, the wonder of that night, the holiness and otherness of the nativity, the incarnation and yet the very real, humble and irreverential circumstances by which the King of the universe entered the muck and mire of our world.
It also reminded me about taking things for granted and assuming what people know about Jesus and the bible, but perhaps I will save those thoughts for another time.