The change has been slow, but over the past few years, we've found ourselves drawn back to a more traditional, liturgical, style of worship. There is just something so beautiful about the rituals. With our recent move, we started attending a Methodist church with more than one service. The early service is traditional, the later service, contemporary. We love our new church as a whole. The last Sunday in November was the beginning of Advent. To celebrate, we had a special Hanging of the Green service. It was a whole service devoted to lighting candles, singing beautiful hymns, listening to the bell choir, and hanging other decorations around the church.
I love building traditions with my family. Going to special church services, reading advent verses together each evening, lighting a candle on our Advent wreath each Sunday. Those are some of the sweet memories.
I was reading Luke 2:8-20 this morning. In these verses there are shepherds out in the fields at night. Suddenly the sky is filled with angels. Angels proclaiming the wondrous news that a Savior has been born, the Messiah. The Shepherds then go and find the infant king so that they can worship him.
And I wondered: why didn't the angels appear to everyone? The whole world could have just heard in that single moment. There wouldn't have been any doubt about who Jesus was. Or would there have been? Would a worldwide proclamation have been enough? Or would stubborn hearts still refuse to believe? Would lives still refuse to recognize what is right in front of their eyes? The angels coming to the shepherds were no mistake. I believe that the LORD saw people who would believe. Who would respond to the proclamation.
When it comes to Advent, I think that we, as parents, have such a significant role. We are the proclaimers. We're telling our children, with their young, malleable hearts, that Jesus has come! We're proclaiming the wondrous news.
I've never considered myself in the role similar to an angel before. But isn't it amazing? We have such a beautiful job to do. And how do we do it? We do it in what we chose to focus on this Christmas season. It doesn't have to be big or extensive. Children don't always have the greatest attention spans. But it can be a verse each evening, or maybe just choosing to meet around an advent wreath every Sunday, to light a candle and talk about God's amazing love, the love that sent His only son into this world as a tiny baby. And that time spent together as a family, may be the greatest gift of all.