Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Spirituality of Advent, Day 3, Week 4

The final day of Advent.  The third day that I comment on the theme of Love.  Christmas Eve and I am up early to run a track workout.

Today, I think I will talk about my children.  

They were part of the focus in the week of hope.  Hope for their future.  Hope for a positive future regardless of whether I am here or something happens to me as something happened to the gentleman whose memorial mass I played at in early December.  

I thought of them in the week of preparation. So much I prepare for.  So much they prepare for.  So much to help them prepare for.

I thought of them in the week of joy.  The do so much to bring me joy (and sometimes to bring me grief).  They are examples for others--usually in a good way.  They show how much Sherry and I have done to influence their lives.

And I think of them in the week of love.  Love for three sons that Sherry and I brought into the world together.  Love for seeing the awesome things they do most of the time.  Love for teaching them responsibility and accountability.  Love for having them around.  Love for doing things with them.

A great example was, is, and will be the preparation for Christmas Eve.  Yesterday evening, I took my son Joshua with me to the stores at Mt Washington at Whole Foods. We first went to the wine store there.  After looking for just a moment myself, I spoke to one of the two gentlemen working there.  I told me I needed a white to cook with Chilean Sea Bass and then to drink afterwards.  I also told him that Sherry prefers sweet.  He gave me a gewurztraminer that I very much look forward to trying tonight.  It will be great to have it with the fish (bought at Whole Foods), some lemon juice, and dill.  Joshua learns about cooking with wine--that is sharing--that is love.

Then we stopped at Starbucks and used up a gift card I had gotten from a Sunday School student.  He got a salted caramel latte.  Sharing the experience of Starbucks.  That is love.

Then we shopped at Whole Foods.  Joshua had taken care of calling them in advance to make certain they had the sea bass still in stock for the day.  They did.  We had a very nice shopping trip together.  Sharing.  Talking.  Teaching.  Learning.  Love.

Finally, we met another mother and daughter from the school Joshua goes to on the way out of the store.  We didn't get too close as they were both admittedly not feeling well.  But we had a great conversation about many of the things that this mother and daughter and our family do for Christmas.  Sharing.  Love.  

Then, we came home.  Joshua helped some with dishes by his choice after I scolded his younger brother for having failed to complete tasks while we were out.  That is love.

Then, I kept Sherry company while she made the dough for the poppy seed and nuts rolls we will have with dinner tonight.  That is love.

While keeping her company, I read my 17 year old's college essays (three more).  That is love.

Then, I warmed some German spiced wine for Sherry and I.  That is love.

This morning I woke up and am planning to run a track workout.  Love of the sport.  Caring for my friends.

The rest of the day afterwards will be a day of cleaning and preparation of our dinner that will include split pea soup with sauerkraut (how many words have the letter sequence "rkr"),  semolina bread, cranberrry sauce, and sea bass, then both cheese and prune pierogies, and finally the rolls.  All with our entire family and Kelsey--who has become like a member of our family after 2 1/2 years with Christopher.  That is love.

That will be after Christopher, Kelsey, and I play keyboard, flute, and bass at our church's Christmas Eve mass.

Love is so many ways.  I remember learning of four types of love in a lesson in school.  Between my wife, my kids, and the friends we support that is three.  And the fourth is agape or spiritual love whih is what my reflections during Advent have been about.  All crammed into 24 hours.  The last 24 hour before the celebration of how God's love for humanity was born on earth. 

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