Friday, December 3, 2010

advent meditation

Maria has been invited to play Mary in a Christmas pageant being held at our church on the 15th. She's been practicing for her role, as well as for her participation in the caroling portion of the gala, which will feature classic seasonal favorites such as:

"Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, jingle all the way!
 Christmas in New Zealand on a sunny summer's day!" 
(only Maria says: "a summy summer's day")

Apparently, there's also a Kiwi version of the first Nativity, which I invite my readers to piously reflect on as you read.....

Joseph tenderly finds his wife a suitable place to 
bring forth her firstborn Son. 
Mary wraps the Infant in swaddling clothes and
the Holy Family is overcome with joy and wonder, 
which they diligently hide behind solemn and serious faces, 
lest they be inundated by a bunch of pesky shepherds and angels. 

 Finally, unable to contain her love and joy any longer, 
Mary gives in. She holds the Christ Child to her lips, 
covering his Holy Face with her motherly kisses. 

Joseph gladly follows suit. 
However, being a brand-new foster father, 
he really does not understand that newborns have no head control.
He holds the Infant by the stomach and a leg.
But little baby Jesus honors his earthly father
by holding his tiny head upright to receive the kiss.
Thus, his first miracle is performed. 

Mary gazes adoringly, lovingly, joyfully upon her Child. 
Every possible holy musing fills her mind and heart. 
She radiates all that is good and pure.

Joseph walks by eating a yogurt-frosted rice cake. 
Mary realizes she is famished from labor and all those holy thoughts. 
She's certain Joseph will not mind sharing just a bite or two.
But Joseph is hungry too -
after all, he walked the whole way to Bethlehem -
Mary got to ride the donkey.
Joseph tries to get his rice cake back.
He's a little shorter in stature than Mary.
Realizing he may not get another single bite of his treat,
he bursts into tears.

Happily, in the end, it's something they can laugh over. 
By the time the angels and shepherds show up, 
they're all smiles. 
A happy and holy ending.

I like the American version of Jingle Bells better, 
what with the references to snow and all. 
And I DEFINITELY prefer the Gospel version of the Nativity story. 
Then again, maybe Little Miss "Summy Summer's Day" 
has also gotten her Nativity story a bit muddled. 

For Advent. we're working with both our children 
and the parish youth on staying focused on the 
TRUE meaning of Christmas. 
We're also working on ourselves in that regard.
May your Advent be blessed with an unwavering focus 
on the real reason for all the bustle and excitement. 
We wish you a beautiful season of preparation 
for the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ!


  1. Did you ever get me with that one!! I was reading the New Zealand version of the Nativity thinking, "Well, those Kiwis are...different."

    I finally caught on at rice cakes. Ha! Joke's on me. Thanks for the laugh.

    Merry Christmas!