Advent 1: The father.

The father, with his strong hands, and adventurous journey in the shoe he wears has that look. The one he gives you when he is disappointed. That look can stop us in our tracks. But he also has that other look. Silent. World changing. The one that tells you and everyone watching “thats my son, I’m proud of him”

Christmas is a weird one for me because it constantly changed because of the physical make up of my family, and where we all were. I was the main culprit of the elsewhere, but, the Christmas season also changed with important peoples deaths. We kept to similar traditions for a season. And then they would change. and then they would change again. And now we have some grandchildren in the mix so it will change some more. But, I wanted to write some quick thoughts throughout the advent season about some stand out christmas moments that link it with some eternal signposts.

I want to start with fatherhood. Because the christmas season for us always began with my Dads birthday. 5th December. In recent years, we even made Dads birthday our christmas day, because I was usually elsewhere for the actual day. I often fault my father as the reason I am a story telling positive extravert. As we grew up and lived in his home town, we would do christmas with his side of the family. It was a gathering of political arguments, backyard cricket, the same speech from aunty carmel, a traditional christmas pudding, that same comforting smell of old house and the fun job of drying dishes (small wash big dry) with my older brother in that amazing kitchen.

We would dress up and sit around that lounge room and look at all the extra people we were related to. We would run around the back yard with our cousins creating imaginary worlds, or play sport until one of us hit the ball over the fence. There was no discussions of the Christ part of the festivities, we never went to church except that one time in Brisbane, but, the 25th of December was a giant celebration of life.

As far as I can understand, Christmas for other people is similar. A whole bunch of celebration, food, laughter and naps. An appreciative season of family and love and togetherness. And it is reflective of God the father.

God the father loves his fellow triune fellowship members so much. He loves the gathering and the creation that comes from the gathering. The creative love that spilled over into humanity. Into our lives. The creative capacity that allows us to be fathers and mothers as well spells out what Christmas is.

Christmas is the celebration of the fatherhood of God whom birthed us to create and love and to defeat death. He gave us the creative painting brushes of life, that we get to choose what our children look like with our own bodies. That we get to create the shape of our families and the reasons for our culture. We get to choose what our feasts look like. And my family chose a gathering point around food and laughter. And I love it. I’m excited to be in the same country as my family as we celebrate life together. As we were given it from elsewhere, to create it wherever we want.

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