Saturday, December 16, 2017

Sacred song

Saturday of the Second Week of Advent

The Lord grants his loving-kindness in the daytime;
in the night season his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
Psalm 42:10

It is late, long past dinner time, when we gather around the dinner table for a festive treat. We are welcoming one daughter home from college and celebrating the other’s acceptance to the college of her choice. My husband and I also lay our thanksgivings on the table for accomplishments in our work places. And even though we have not come together for a meal, I light the two Advent candles and we reach our hands to one another for prayer, saying grace.

I think of the dinner table as a sacred place in our home. For many years, the two and then the three and then the four of us have gathered here for food and camaraderie. Here we share laughter, we tell each other about our days, and like collected treasure we lay on the table our triumphs, dreams, aspirations. We discuss politics, theology and the best strategies for fantasy football. And here, we sometimes fail one another, forgetting to listen, or harboring resentment, or just being cranky.

But it is the love that prevails. The ritual of lighted candles and hands held in prayer and partaking of one another draws us together and at the same time transports us into the sacred song being sung all around us.