Advent Devotion: December 1
My Mom and Advent
Read Isaiah 49:15-16a
My mom has many good days and a few that are not so good. She can clearly remember details of events that took place many years ago. But she cannot remember what happened five minutes earlier in her day.
When I visit with my mom, she often wants to talk about my childhood, and some of her clearest memories are the times our family sat around our homemade Advent wreath each Sunday on so many Decembers. We would arrive home from church, gather in our living room and have our special Advent time. My sister and I would take turns reading the devotion and lighting the candles. For my mother, these memories evoke a time when our family was together and we were able to pause long enough in our busy days to remember what the season of Advent truly meant. She can remember the dresses my sister and I were wearing, the things my father said, the way the candles melted onto the wreath, and our favorite hymns.
My mother often talks about losing her memory and how frustrating it is. But she also says that she has lived a wonderful life and she knows that God has been beside her with each step that she has taken. Her strong, never-wavering faith and her belief that God will take care of her through the good times and the not-so-good times give her a profound peace...even in the midst of this terrible disease. These memories of long ago Advent devotions are crystal clear to my mother and remind me during this season of memories and new beginnings, that the birth of Jesus gives us hope in every single situation that arises in our lives.. My mother says that even as she becomes more and more forgetful, she knows that God will never forget her.
This Advent season is a little bittersweet for me as I see my mom becoming more frail and more forgetful. Life goes by so quickly and I know how much I will miss my mom when she is gone. But these wonderful memories of long-ago Advent celebrations will stay with me and will always remind me of my mother who never forgot the meaning of this season.
Prayer: God, in this wonderful and holy season, we remember those who struggle and who live with disease and heartbreak. Help us to be mindful of these special people and may they be blessed with powerful and beautiful memories of lives blessed by knowing you. Amen.