December 19 – Advent Continues

Last night I made my first batch of Christmas bread.

A Christmas tradition that began 25 years ago when I first made bread with my oldest son for him to give to his teachers in school.  Every year since, I have made bread to give to teachers and to family and friends and to co-workers.
10 loaves baked last night.
Another 10 loaves sometime this weekend.

So much of our celebration of Christmas – both our preparations and how we celebrate the day – is about remembering.
Ornaments that our children made years ago hung again on the tree.
The Christmas when everyone made it home.
Lighting candles in church and singing Silent Night.
A part of my making bread is remembering standing next to my sons while they stood on the stool to knead the bread and to shape the loaves.  I remembered them as I made bread last night.

But, beyond our decorations and family traditions, can we remember one more thing? Can we remember that time in our life when God came close?
When we were stopped in our tracks by beauty?
When we were overcome by love?
When awe took our breath away?
When forgiveness healed guilt we had carried with us for too long?
When we stood face to face with another and, despite all the seeming differences between you, you knew you stood face to face with your sister or brother?

Maybe there is something about Christmas about that is about remembering this as well.