This year in our effort to de-commercialize Christmas, we are celebrating Advent. In the evangelical Covenant church, this includes Scripture readings and the lighting of a symbolic candle every Sunday until Christmas Day, when we read the Christmas story and light all the candles.
Last night was our first Advent celebration. I had marked all the readings ahead of time, and the kids took turns reading them. Henry read the Psalm, and while we couldn’t understand most of what he said, I could still feel the magic of Advent, the stillness and deep meditative spell wrap itself around us. James read from Jeremiah, Emma from Romans, and Dean from Matthew, then I finished with a reading with Luke. We prayed together as a family and lit the candle.
There’s nothing inherently magical about this whole process, but something happened. We all were quieter, more contemplative, and less rushed (for at least a little while!). I’m looking forward to next Sunday when we do this again.