From Trinity Lutheran Church’s “Advent, a Journey of Watching and Waiting”
“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
One of my favorite Advent traditions growing up was the annual Advent Birthday Party at my home congregation. Every December we would gather together in the fellowship hall for a traditional potluck. What made this potluck special was the seating chart. Who you were friends with, who the cool kids were, who we usually sat with during Sunday morning coffee hour were irrelevant. We sat with people who shared our birthday month. So one night a year for about ten years I sat with people whose birthdays all landed in July. Everyone had a theme cake. Ours was usually 4th of July themed but sometimes the cake was instead adorned with summer flowers. My mom and dad’s cakes, over at the October and November tables, had pumpkins and turkeys respectively.
This was one of the best multi-generational events in which I’ve participated and it carried with it several Advent themes. Jesus’ mother Mary’s song was made manifest because everyone was made equal—we all had a birthday, “He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly.” It also lifted up the incarnation, God made flesh, so clearly. Yes, we were preparing for the birthday of the King, Prince of Peace, Lord of Lords, but the incarnation was and is real. God, in Jesus, came to live among us, starting not as a teacher in his early 30s but as a baby, born in a specific place, of a specific woman, on a specific day, just like you and me. The incarnation. The miracle of all miracles.
-Pr Meggan Manlove