Advent is just days away. I cannot help but think back to Advent devotions every Sunday during Advent season when I was growing up. Our Advent wreath was homemade: a white birch log with holes drilled in it for candles and gold tinsel wrapped around it. I only learned a few years ago that the Advent devotions we read were prepared by my mother. She’s amazing, by the way. You should all meet her sometime.
But what stands out most in my memory is the wooden Bible we would read from. Both covers and the spine were made of beautifully decorated wood and attached by leather strings like the shoelaces on deck shoes. When you would open it, it would creak as the leather stretched against the wood. And it had a unique smell that, to me, meant Christmas was coming.
There was a funny side to these Advent devotions every year. We would pass the Bible around and, once we were all old enough, we would each read a portion. My brother and I knew what was in there. To an eight year old, the prospect of getting to “swear” while reading the Bible was pretty awesome. “…and on a colt, the foal of an ass.” Man was it hard to hold back the laughter. We would both look into each other’s eyes knowing it was coming. We never once actually talked about why it was funny, but everyone knew that is was. My brother and I always assumed we would get in trouble if we actually belted out a real laugh. Looking back on it now, I am sure we would not have no more than I would yell at my kids for the same thing today. It’s funny what kids build up in their minds.
So over the next few days I will be putting together our Advent devotions for 2013. I make a new set each year, in honor of the way my mother prepared her own set all those years ago. And my oldest daughter is old enough to read well (11) so I just might have to take the time to plan in out so she gets that most challenging of all verses for a kid to read at Christmas. And no, I won’t yell at her if she cracks a smile…
We were built to be heroes. And our biggest hero is coming.