Day 2

14 Dec

Today’s post comes from Louise Davis who blogs here.

Children and Christmas seem to be inextricably linked, from the well-worn cliche that “Christmas is for the kids” to the baby in the manger.

One of the highlights of my Christmas preparations so far came when my nephew, who’ll be three in January, saw my tree for the first time. As he raced into my lounge and out of sight, all I heard was “Ooo!!”, the surprise and excitement evident in his voice. It was a beautiful moment!

This year, for possibly the first time in my life, I’m actually managing to do an Advent study – I bought a study guide a few years ago but never really got round to using it properly. But alongside the “proper” Advent study I’m reading a book that my family bought years ago with a view to reading it together in the run up to Christmas. Called The Christmas Mystery, it’s about a young Swedish boy called Joachim who finds a magic Advent calendar in an old bookshop and discovers that behind each door is a picture and a tiny piece of paper. The story which unfolds is that of a journey – well, two journeys really. As the days creep by, Joachim learns about Elspeth and her journey to Bethlehem, but also grows in his own understanding of the real meaning of Christmas. Well, at least I assume that’s what happens – I obviously haven’t got to the end yet!

Over the last couple of days, Joachim’s story has taken an unexpected turn, with his parents discovering the stash of tiny pieces of paper. As the three of them explore the unfolding story together, it’s Joachim’s faith in the impossible and his child’s ability to embrace the extraordinary that has drawn his parents deeper into the mystery, against their better adult judgement.

As we journey towards Christmas and hear again the all-too-familiar story of a virgin birth and angelic visitations, what can we learn from the profound simplicity of a child’s unquestioning acceptance of the awesome and the miraculous?

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