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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Today’s Reading | Psalm 89:1–4

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever;
     with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
     your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
     I have sworn to my servant David:
‘I will establish your descendants forever,
     and build your throne for all generations.’” (NRSV)


Reflection

Our first Christmas together after Laura’s adoption in China coincided with the first night of Hanukkah. In our Christian-Jewish family, we practice and worship each religion “in light of the other,” as a priest we knew put it. Our extended families—coming from a range of generations, cultures, and faith traditions—were happy to be together. Before Christmas dinner, we thanked God for the gift of his Son, a Jew who brought light to a darkened world. At sunset, we lit the first candle of the menorah as we sang a Hebrew prayer thanking God for bringing us to the season.

This year during Advent, we are awaiting the opportunity to honor our family’s creation by revisiting China during winter break. While in China, we will make time to be grateful for the best gifts of all—our family that bridges religious, cultural, and geographical divides and our relatives, friends, and faith communities who have loved and supported us.

In the scripture passage, the psalmist recalls God’s covenant and proclaims, “I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.” In this season of Advent, may we experience God’s love as we sing of our common faithfulness in the light of our cherished traditions that span the generations.


Prayer

Dear God, thank you for our differences in religion and culture, because they make everyone special and interesting. Amen.


Written by Kathryn McCabe, Ira Pilchen, and Laura Pilchen,
     Fourth Church family


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