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  Advent Readings for Children


The angels have always known the good news: that God longed to be known by God's creation.    From the moment humanity first walked upon the earth, God accompanied those steps and shed light upon that path.  God in
greatness and majesty has always stooped in lowliness to be close to the beloved creatures whose feet roam and whose hearts wander.  The angels have always known of God's love for humankind.

And when in the fullness of time, God's majesty took on human form and God lived upon the earth as a human baby, the news was too good to bear in silence, and had to be proclaimed in song, in angel song.  The angel brought good news to Mary: behold, God shall dwell with God's creation. The angels greeted the shepherds: Christ is born!


The shepherds have always understood lowliness.  On the
hillside, there were no dwelling places and fewer possessions, only the sheep to watch, and the stars ... and there was the silence.  Wind and weather exalted themselves above the shepherds, and drenching rain and scorching sun ruled over them.

There was no claim of closeness to God or stature in the eyes of humanity, only rough clothing and hard ground and a rock for a pillow, and silence.  Silence until, in the fullness of time, the song of the angels filled the night with words unbelievable and joy unexpectable and the need to rush from the hills to a stable where  lowliness was bathed in radiance, and humility became divine, and God came to be with God's creation.


The promise of a king wove itself into the study of the stars and the pondering of the prophecies, as some intricate pattern in brocaded tapestry.  Throughout the dreariness of life, royalty was heralded; in the darkness of the night, a star was encountered.  The travel preparations were costly, but the gifts were even more valuable, and it seemed likely that they would be laid at the foot of a dazzling throne as instruments were played and servants offered lodging and legions of subjects bowed in obeisance.

But when the journey was fulfilled, the star's light on the straw was glowingly golden, and the breathing of the cattle in the stalls was a finely orchestrated hymn, and the tapestry was woven with the realization of prophecy patterned against the changing of direction, and it was all so much richer than anything ever had been before: rich in purpose and implication, rich in surprise and imagination, rich in love.


Nobody had less occasion to step upon history's stage than a woman, too poor, so young, and still unmarried.  No one had less hope against the shock of a man disappointed in his choice of s bride.  No one had less claim upon the orders of Caesar Augustus.    No one had less reason to be noticed by God. It was not wealth and position that gave her the title of the mother of a king, and it was not purity of thought or diligence of work or depth of understanding that acted as a magnet for the attention of the creator.   Rather it was the intention of the creator that found a way unique and humble for this event to enter upon history's stage.

And when the creator chose to be among the people, the creator chose a particular people, humble and poor, and a specific, very young woman, and a precise moment in the fullness of time, and the star shone, and the shepherds and wise men gathered, and the angels sang.