Expectant in Bethlehem
Advent Meditations 2011
by Anne E. Kitch
Saturday of the First Week of Advent
December 3, 2011
Take away from me the noise of your songs;
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amos 5:23-24
“I want to get the clean water.”
“What about food for school children or mosquito nets?”
“Let’s help the kids in school.”
My oldest and I are pouring over the “Gifts for Life” catalog from Episcopal Relief and Development. This has become an Advent tradition for us. The donations we make to ERD will become Christmas gifts for the teachers and coaches who have mentored my children.
My daughter is the instigator of this particular practice of giving in our house. Several years ago, when I asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she looked me straight in the face and said, “All I really want is world peace.” I decided to take her seriously. The Gifts for Life catalog had just arrived in our mailbox that day. Some coincidences seem rather well timed. I suggested she could act for justice and peace in the world by choosing to provide water or food or mosquito nets to children who really needed them. She responded with enthusiasm.
Yet it was not I, but rather an entire community that taught my daughter to be a giver. A parish that held an annual Living Gifts Fair. A church school teacher who introduced a lesson on wants versus needs. Her own generosity.
Her generosity continues to refresh me, like a mountain stream.
Find the Gifts for Life catalog online at the Episcopal Relief and Development website.