*A publication I read some years back carried the story of an annual church Christmas Dinner. Over the years it had become a family affair which welcomed everyone, including people off the street. Members of the church brought their extended family. Small children, theater folk and those who had nowhere to go would eat together. The writer described it as a “weird and wonderful mix,” although not without problems.
One year, a loud argument broke out. There were caustic comments, threats of violence and worried people at the tables. Serious trouble was brewing until a quick thinking music director slipped behind the piano and belted out “Jingle Bell Rock.” Anger melted as Christmas carols rang out. In the biggest of ironies, those involved in the disturbance dropped their resentments and stood harmonizing with each other.
I thought of this story as we go through Advent with the background noise of Impeachment Hearings in Washington. Our nation, so divided along partisan lines that friendships have broken and families have ruptured.
“The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.” Isaiah 11:6
I look at these words wondering how it is possible for the wolf and lamb to change from hunter and hunted, to living in harmony. Something essential has to alter in the wolf for a lamb to feel secure in its presence. Peace in our families, our communities, our nation comes when we open our hearts to the changes God wants to make in each of us. May our Advent journey lead us to see each other and ourselves through God’s eyes, that one day we might sing in harmony with all of God’s children.
Daily Devotions and other Christmas resources can be found at this Link – Devotions for Advent to Epiphany
*The story is attributed to Kathleen C. Mandeville about St. Clement’s Annual Christmas (city unknown).