Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Voice Crying in the Wilderness Pt. 13

The Hearts of the Fathers: After Christmas?
“But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John... And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before his face in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to walk in the wisdom of the just; to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.” Luke 1:13,16-17

With the frenzied activity of our old December habits, after Christmas came the inevitable letdown. Advent was the framework that organized and supported all our previous efforts to build a more meaningful Christmas celebration. The feelings of anxious hurry were replaced by feelings of calm and happy expectation. The boys expected the readings, and complained if we missed a day. When we read in the morning, we saw improved attitudes and behavior all day. In church on Sundays, we listened more attentively because we were better prepared.

But what about after Christmas? After a week or two, my wife said, “These readings are good. I think we should continue them after Advent.” I told her there were readings for the twelve days from Christmas to Epiphany. “No,” she said, “I mean we should continue them all year.” Three years later, family worship has become a habit. We've missed days, and even weeks, but our days feel incomplete without it, so we always return to it.

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