Luke 3:7-18 – The 3rd Sunday of Advent – for Sunday, December 16, 2012

“As the people were filled with expectation…” (Luke 3:15)

I am “skirting” Bethlehem this year. Click here for why.

On my most memorable birthday . . .

. . . Let’s say I was ten, though I might’ve been younger. I’m a May birthday boy, late in the second semester, and I know this occurred during elementary school.

By 4, I’m sure I was scheming for more presents…

I so desperately wanted a party.

I’d been to the birthdays of fellow classmates and Cub Scout buddies. They all had kids galore, endless cake and ice cream and scores of presents. One brave family even handed out water pistols and told everyone to have fun:  indoors, outdoors, everywhere! I couldn’t imagine my parents approving a hoard of munchkins dashing hither and yon, squirting at other children, living room furniture, the dog, the front mailbox and the backyard swing set . . . all with enough water to fill Lake Tahoe.

I made no demands for squirt guns. But, please, I wanted a mess of my friends. And truth be told, I wanted lots of presents.

Mom, the cake-maker and party-planner agreed to this.

I dimly recall her giving me a maternal reality check.

“Honey,” let’s say Mom said, “Do you really want to invite so many children to your party?”

“I want lots of kids.”

“Wouldn’t it be nicer to have a few of your best friends and–” Continue reading →