Advent Day 2

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:

“May they prosper who love you.

Peace be within your walls,

and security within your towers.”

For the sake of my relatives and friends

I will say, “Peace be within you.”

For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,

I will seek your good.

(Psalm 122)

Last spring I was researching Seders for my middle school youth group. This part of Psalm 122 is often used at the end of the Seder. So, in other words, it’s read when the whole family is gathered around the table, in that intimate, candle-lit moment at the end of the meal, where you are stuffed and satiated, both with food, and probably with intense family time, for good or for bad. With that setting, the Psalm takes on the connotation not just of the physical, actual Jerusalem, but extends it to the family. A small part, a small taste of the peace of Jerusalem, is the peace of the family gathered.

Last week was intense family time (I’m going with mostly for good, thanks to the incredible habits of hospitality of the Moes, my mother in law’s family). Intense and good when we spent time at the table, around the TV set (football games, during which I knit since I come from a non-football family), in living rooms and around fireplaces.

But there was also some not so pleasant intensity courtesy of the ever-so-intense 3 year old traveling with us. Who had two of her most dramatic temper tantrums ever. Not her fault…this is what happens when your parents keep you up late, shuttle you between various friends and relatives, take you to kid-stimulating event after kid-stimulating event, and, last but certainly not least, strap you down in a car seat for hours at a time.

I think we were all happy to go back to preschool this morning.

Over our front door is a bronze plaque that Erik’s grandparents bought in Israel: it says, “The Spirit of the Lord rest upon this house.”

Advent leading into Christmas will be intense in our house…work picks up just a smidge for me, and I wonder what it holds this year as Zora gets smarter and smarter to what’s going on around her.

And one prayer to begin with, one vision to commit to might be to invite the Spirit to rest upon this house, so that we can create a little bit of the peace of Jerusalem around here.