Crusts & Crumbs is a new reflection for Sunday evenings: thoughts on today’s Scripture from parenting’s perspective. If you’re hungry to connect faith and family, let’s chew here together.
“The anxieties of daily life.” Is there anything more ordinary? Preaching on perplexing signs and terrible fears that will signal the end of times, Jesus speaks words of caution: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life” (Luke 21:25-28, 34-36). We laugh and swat away the first two, easy enough. But the last? Who among us is not dogged by anxieties? How could they be dangerous as drunkenness?
Worry walks hand in hand with the work of raising children. From the beginning parents circle round small concerns and shrink from larger fears. Will the child be safe? Healthy? Strong? Worries change as children grow and parents age, but anxiety is still wound tight with love. How could we possibly parent without worry?
But worry quenches the work of God within you, wrote a wise bishop. The rest of today’s readings offer quiet alternatives. Strengthen your heart. Lift your soul. Dwell secure. Which all mean the same: try to trust. Try again tomorrow. Counter the day’s anxieties with the day’s prayers. Hold hope as close as you hold concern. Remember your child is not only yours, but God’s.
Advent is a new year (before the calendar changes). A waiting time (while the holiday rush already presses). A season of contrasts: light in darkness, silence in noise, stillness in bustle. So what says Advent to anxieties of daily life? Pray. Hope. Don’t worry.
Advent cups our clenched chins and furrowed brows in tender hands and whispers: peace. New days are coming, yes, but those days will also be safe and secure, just and right (Jeremiah 33:14-16). What looks like the worst will never be the end. It will always bring something new on the other side. Birth did this. Each day did this. Tomorrow – even the ultimate unknown of the last – promises the same.