Music and food are the central elements of any celebration among Africans. Music is seen as a gift that God bequeathed to African people. Africans are known for singing in times of trouble or struggle; and when they have experienced victory, there is joy. This connection to music finds expression in the church, with Christmas carols sung to celebrate the anticipated birth of Jesus Christ. Central to African feasting is the sharing of food. It is considered a virtue to be a family that provides hospitality to all people. In fact, there is an understanding that a home that does not receive visitors is unfortunate, if not cursed. To receive guests, especially strangers, is considered a great blessing. Families cook and bake with the expressed intention of sharing what is made.
—Sidwell Mokgothu, “The South African Celebration of Advent,” in Light from Afar: An Advent Devotional from Around the World (Upper Room Books, 2023)
How does the expression that “a home that does not receive visitors is unfortunate, if not cursed” speak to you about sharing your home during Advent and Christmas? [question by Sidwell Mokgothu]
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Contribute to the needs of the saints; pursue hospitality to strangers.
—Romans 12:13 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
O God, thank you for the light from afar that came into our world when your Son, Jesus Christ, was born. Be with us as we await the birth of the Christ child in our hearts once again. Give us patience in the waiting. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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