Are folks gathering at your house or is this the year you travel to be with family or friends? This is the time when, perhaps more than any other, families get together. For most of us, these are joyful occasions, the gathering of the people who mean the most to us.
But for some of us, perhaps more than we dare admit, they are difficult 'reunions.' Because we have been wounded by life; because we come from broken families; because those closest to us through genes are the ones we are furthest from emotionally; because the ones who are supposed to love us unconditionally have hurt us unkindly - such gatherings are not filled with joy, with celebration, with anticipation.
Who is it that will rebuild our broken lives? Who is it that can gather together all the folks who have become alienated and separated? Who is it that can cleanse and bandage our wounded hearts? Who is it that can heal that inner pain that only we can feel? Who is it that names us and numbers us among the Beloved of the family.
Psalm 147:1-11 claims that it is God - the One who comes to us in Jesus Christ - who will do this. And not only for us and our families, but for the entire human family. That's an Advent to celebrate and an Advent to await!
Gather us in, Lord. Gather us in from our scattered wanderings; gather us into your heart; gather us in with our wounds and brokenness; gather us in, and never let go of us. In Advent hope, we pray. Amen.
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