A time of waiting and anticipation.
A time for getting ready.
A time of hope, peace, love, and joy.
This past Wednesday was a slightly hectic one at TBC. Our usual set of three volunteers for Godly play was one woman down. An Christmas musical rehearsal shortened our time from 60 minutes with two groups of students, to 15 with them both. And- tonight was the night we were telling all 4 Advent stories since it’s our last Wednesday night until January. Challenge accepted.
After explaining to 15 excited children how the evening was going to go, I asked the question that the children are asked every week: “Are you ready?” Most were, and they entered the room. I saved the more energetic children for last, giving them a few extra minutes to get their wiggles out before they, too, entered the room. And the story began.
We walked through the four weeks of Advent, each focusing on a different part of the story: the prophets, the Holy Family, the shepherds, and the Magi. Joe, one of the co-leaders, did a great job creating a sense of wonder as he told the story. Joe’s volume level is a little quieter than my own (which isn’t hard to do), but it was exactly how the story should have been told.
After describing each part of the story, a candle is lit, and the storyteller says, “Let us enjoy the light of the prophets/Holy Family/shepherds/Magi. In some settings, I have seen the lights get gradually dimmer as the candles are lit. In this room, however, we had to wait to turn the lights off until all the candles were lit. And we sat in silence for about a minute. Then, one by one, Joe blew out the candles and the lights were turned back on. We then talked about the smoke rising from the candles. Even though the light was gone, the smoke is still present and represents how the mystery of Christmas is all around us, even after Advent is over.
The night was truly a blessing. It was wonderful to hear the children “wonder” afterwards: I wonder how it would feel to be a prophet and to get to hear a word from God? I wonder how Mary and Joseph felt riding all the way to Bethlehem? I wonder what the shepherds and sheep were thinking when all those angels showed up? I wonder how the Magi knew that this star was a star from God?
This Advent, I hope you are able to enjoy the lights of the season. Whether it be the lights on your Christmas tree as your family decorates together, the lights on houses that fill your car with laughter when they are just a little too tacky, or the light from your Advent wreath that you light at the dinner table. Let the lights of the season brighten your world, and remember that even as the lights are extinguished, the remain in you throughout the year.