Tuesday, December 21

Advent 2010

It was a cold morning in January of 2007, in a busy Metro Station in Washington, D.C.  A young man set down his violin case and began to play glorious Bach pieces.  During his 45 minute "concert," approximately 2,000 people passed by.  A few paused to listen, a few tossed in coins or a dollar bill, but most simply hurried on.  The exceptions were six adults, who listened briefly, and small children.   The children wanted to listen, but they were tugged along by their parents.  A few broke away and ran back to the violinist only to be grabbed again by their annoyed parents.   Even as they were whisked off, the children turned to look back at the violinist.   In a grand hall, his concert tickets would average $100 and sell out.  He earned a paltry $32 while playing on an instrument valued at $3.5 million.  The violinist's  name?  Joshua Bell.

Advent begins one of the most beautiful seasons of the Christian year, yet for many, it becomes a time of stress and angst, a time too busy to stop, to listen, to enjoy and appreciate.  The exception?  Children.  Watch a baby, just beginning to walk, who instinctively feels the music and tries to dance, bobbing up and down on her short, stubby legs before she topples over with laughter.  Watch the joy and excitement in our youngest violinists, so small their feet must swing in time to the music since they don't touch the floor, while a fierce concentration wrinkles their brows.  Watch the joy in children's eyes as they sing songs sung only at Christmas, the music so wonderful it would be enjoyed all year long if custom didn't dictate otherwise.

God gives us so many good gifts throughout our lives, but only one life of time. Perhaps the greatest gift we could give to our family, friends, and ourselves this Advent would be time:  time to listen instead of always talking ourselves, time to hear what is being said instead of anticipating our response, time to look at the beauty of the natural world instead of rushing by it, time to spend with the people we love, time to repair strained relationships, time to care about people who have ceased to care for themselves.  May it be so this Christmas and all the Christmases to come.

- Lynne Davis



Dear Lord, thank you for letting your Son never leave our souls as long as we live.  Thank you most of all for your willingness to come into our hearts and never leave.  Amen.

- Catherine Laster


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