Daily Bread December 21

Traditions Cross the Border
Diana Solorio of Austin, TX, USA

He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. -Isaiah 2:4

From my earliest memory, baking has been a part of my holiday tradition. My mom would bake cookies and breads to share with family, friends, and neighbors; and from an early age I was in the kitchen helping out. Living in or near Mexico for a good part of my life, the foods of Latin America also have become a part of that tradition.

During my junior year of high school my mom prepared her usual tray of goodies for our next-door neighbors and delivered them a few days before Christmas. On Christmas Eve our doorbell rang, and there stood our neighbors with a tray of steaming hot tamales, a traditional Christmas Eve meal, fresh from the pot. Tamales are difficult to make-a true labor of love-and usually only shared with family or close friends.

We invited them in, and they shared appreciation for the tray of baked goods. They also wanted to share what they had created in their kitchen. This began a deeper friendship that lasted many years. As the Christmas season approached they would tease us about their expectations for cookies. And on Christmas Eve we would look forward to those delicious tamales.

Little did I know, on that Christmas Eve long ago, a few baked goods would lead to friendships and traditions that I carry on to this day. I wonder if the cast of characters present at the birth of Christ knew what traditions, inspired by that event, would endure to this day. Advent prepares us for the expected tradition and the unexpected mystery.

Prayer Phrase

“Trust what is being born” (Stephen M. Veazey, Words of Counsel, 2019).

Spiritual Practice

Deepen your breathing as you enter a few moments of silent presence to God. Pay attention first to your own life as you gently ask and notice, “What is most alive in me right now? What is being born in me?” After a few moments of silent listening, ask these questions of your community, the church, and the world. Notice how the Spirit is revealing new life and possibility as you prayerfully ask these questions over time.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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