The Fourth Week of Advent 2022

This week’s theme is love. I have been watching this Advent a stray kitten be welcomed into our home by our 11 year old dog and 2 year old cat. Both our pets were happy enough together, and we had no plan to welcome a new pet. But the kitten’s litter arrived on a friend’s porch a couple of weeks before the freezing weather arrived. After much work, all but one kitten was claimed and freezing temperatures were predicted that week. Advent brought us a kitten who needed a home.

I knew there would be a bit of tension as the pets adjusted to sharing space, but to my delight they were smitten within two days. Now as Advent turns into Christmas the three of them are a wonderful example of love. Both the dog and cat have taken to training the kitten, who is a fast learner. Both the dog and the cat have given up some of their comfort and ease to welcome an energetic kitten who naps often, but not nearly as long as they would prefer. All three of them are a reminder each day of the importance of having loved ones to share your days.

This week we approach Christmas to tell again the story of how God, who is love, embodied our human nature to show us how much love matters. I am thinking of how examples of love are all over the place, and if we open ourselves up we will recognize them. For me it was this simple moment in the kitchen when the dog moved so the cats could drink from his bowl, then the older cat showed the kitten which was the water bowl. This is not a monumental moment, but it was a reminder that loves comes in many quiet ways; and love shared will nurture us so that we can thrive in the place we have found ourselves.

Hopefully, as we recall the story of Christmas we will find evidence of the love we have been given, and we will continue to be nurtured by the communities we have been given, and we will thrive as we grow closer to God and closer to each other. . . and maybe we will get a few longer naps along the way.

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