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The Advent season: A time of waiting, preparation for Christ’s birth

johnson-liz-sig-kBy Liz Johnson, Richmond News Staff

I am blessed to have enjoyed numerous magical Christmases as a child. My mother put a lot of effort into making the entire season memorable. The house was always filled with the fragrance of baking cookies, Scrabble mix and the unmistakable bouquet of a real fir tree.

Our home was festive with homemade decorations and lights sparkling merrily throughout. Outside, my mother put her own mark on the neighborhood by fashioning a poinsettia tree into a small but significant light display. It’s one I use to this day.

My mother died in 1982, leaving an indelible mark on my soul regarding the savoring of the Christmas season. I’ve kept what traditions I could and let go of those I found didn’t work in my own family. Yet, the deep memories remain, warm and comforting to my soul, no matter what time of year they spring to my mind.

While my mother made Christmas special in our home, my father filled my soul with the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.

My father was a revivalist, evangelical preacher for the first 17 years of his ministerial life. In 1951, he converted to the Episcopal faith, yet incorporated his biblically-based beliefs into his new ministry.

Maintaining my mother’s warm, homespun Christmases inside my home and embracing the spirit-filled holidays my father taught me has been a constant reminder of the true reason for the season. Love and family. Rejoicing and hope.

I have attended numerous churches over the years since going out on my own. Nevertheless, the memory of my father’s booming voice reciting Scripture or preaching a short, powerful sermon on God’s Word is always in the forefront of my mind.

The complete story is in the Friday, Dec. 9, 2016 Richmond News.

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