The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The glory of anticipation

My sisters, brothers and I were taught this lesson through many traditions — one of my favorites was the Advent chain. My mother hung a red ribbon adorned with gold walnuts in the kitchen. Each day of Advent we took turns opening a walnut filled with a Bible verse and five M&Ms. We looked up the verse, which told about the coming of the Messiah, and discussed it as we ate our one M&M.

To this day, my mother wonders why we were satisfied with one M&M.

For me, it's because that one M&M represented so much. It was family sitting around the kitchen table. It was parents sharing their faith. Most important — the Advent chain taught us to anticipate and appreciate the wonderful gifts that God gives to all. It was knowing that on Christmas Day the M&Ms were replaced with a "Baby Jesus," a symbol of God's greatest gift, the true meaning of the season.

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February issue


Embracing diversity