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Rocking Into Advent

My first moments of Advent were spent in our leather rocker recliner with my grandson, Ryder.


Ryder and his parents were getting ready to head back to their home after spending the Thanksgiving holidays with us. I told his mom to let me have Ryder when he woke so I could spend a couple of hours with him before they hit the road.


Snuggled up with me in his Christmas pajamas, Ryder and I began to rock, and then we began to sing. Okay, I did most of the singing, but he cooed along. As we rocked and sang, I began to think about the irony of me holding this precious baby on the same day we prepare for another baby's coming into the world.


Away in a Manger was our first carol. It really is a lullaby itself.



Be near me, Lord Jesus,

I ask Thee to stay

Close by me forever,

And love me, I pray.


Bless all the dear children

In thy tender care,

And fit us for heaven

To live with Thee there.


Advent reminds us that God showed up for us in the form of a baby. God became a tiny life held by human hands – small and vulnerable.


While I held and rocked Ryder, I took in every detail of his face, hands, and toes. I soaked in his smiles and listened intently to his coos, and I wondered if the Baby Jesus looked the same – small, sweet, and cuddly when he was three months old. Did his parents and grandparents marvel at him in the same way that I marvel at Ryder?


How can a baby bring so much love and hope to the world? I believe that is the gift – that God brings hope from the simplest of life forms. That “out of a stump would grow a shoot…and the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him – the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” (Isaiah 11:1-2)


Christ comes to us in this small, tender way – as a baby. He comes as a shoot from Jesse’s branch ready to bear fruit in the world. Ready to bear fruit in you and me.


God begs us to pay attention to the small things – the infant, the shoot, the least, and the lost. Those are the places where God shows up. Emmanuel – God is with us.



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