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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Jesus. Him.

Let Christ be the source of all our goodness.

On every eve of our every Christmas, Dad insisted that we sing: Ah, dearest Jesus, holy child ...

Seven children, we lined up from the youngest to the oldest outside the room in which stood the secret tree, outside the room from whose door the knob had been removed — until now. Seven children facing Dad, singing: Make thee a bed, soft, undefiled ...


I was the oldest. I could see my littlest sister's back, her face tipped high to gaze at Dad's higher face — oh, and the wonderful fall of hair that draped her nightgown almost to the hem of it.

How unafraid, I thought. How shining her smile with the joy of the evening.

At the center of our Christian faith Within my heart, that it may be ...

This was central. The mangered infant was central. Whether I was myself flushed with excitement or else fearful of the failure of my family's scripted theater, Dad had designed the night to make of our presents votive offerings to Jesus born and Jesus yet to die on a tree stripped of its baubles.

A quiet chamber kept for thee.


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December issue

DECEMBER issue:

Advent: Waiting together

More...