After all these years, our adult children still remember the tune and most of the words: “The King of glory come, the nation rejoices, open the gates before him, lift up your voices.”
It was a song that became part of our family Advent. When our children were still at home, every Sunday evening during Advent became a special event. My wife Lynette receives the credit. In the midst of crazy schedules between schools and church, she decided that Advent offered a unique opportunity for family devotions. She decorated a huge box, our Advent box. And each week she would fill it with devotional material, activities, and a surprise. Even when the kids had moved into high school, they would still reserve those Sunday evenings in Advent.
During those years we would sing, pray, and celebrate a season that I fear too often goes unnoticed. How quickly we move into the Christmas season. But our family’s experience taught us that Christmas gained even more meaning because of time spent in Advent… waiting…anticipating.
This year, our synod celebrates the arrival of a new staff member, Karen Gieseke. Her position offers children, youth, and family support for congregations. But Karen’s real focus is on families. How can we strengthen families and support faith development in that setting?
Let me suggest this Advent as time to begin in your own homes. Discuss Advent as a family. Plan Advent activities as a family. Even sing, if you want to, “Sing then of David’s Son, our Saviour and brother, in all of Galilee was never another.” (The King of Glory)