Advent Devotions 2022

The Sacredness of the Ordinary

Posted by Beth Pulley on

The Sound of Music is probably not the first movie that comes to mind when you think of Christmas films, but since 2002 the ABC network has included it along with Rudolph and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town and Home Alone in its holiday season schedule. This is kind of funny because The Sound of Music never actually mentions Christmas. There are, of course, holiday themes in the movie, but it isn’t a very explicit Christmas movie.

The most “Christmas” details in the movie are in the lyrics of the song, “My Favorite Things.” Maria and the children sing about “brown paper packages tied up with string,” “sleigh bells,” “snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes,” and “silver-white winters that melt into springs.”

The song reminds us that some of the best things are small and almost insignificant - raindrops, a strudel, a white dress with a blue sash. The speaker in this song isn’t talking about extravagant or over the top items; rather, the speaker is extolling the joys of small, ordinary, mundane things. These are my favorite things during the Christmas season - watching Rudolph with my kids, drinking hot chocolate out of an old Santa mug, and the smell of my mother-in-law’s homemade sourdough bread. These things bring me the most joy.

The “sacredness of the ordinary” has become a popular topic these days. In Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, Tish Harrison Warren writes, “The kind of spiritual life and disciplines needed to sustain the Christian life are quiet, repetitive, and ordinary. I often want to skip the boring, daily stuff to get to the thrill of an edgy faith. But it’s in the dailiness of the Christian faith - the making the bed, the doing the dishes, the praying for our enemies, the reading the Bible, the quiet, the small - that God’s transformation takes root and grows.” I believe that God still meets people in extraordinary, mountaintop experiences, but I think it happens more often when we are praying for a friend while washing the dishes, singing along to the radio while we are driving, or kissing a family member good night.

During Advent we wait for the coming of Jesus Christ. This year I am going to try to find joy in the waiting through simple, ordinary, favorite things. I’m going to light an Advent candle, put up some of my mom’s nativity scenes, sit in a dark room with just the lights of the Christmas tree on, and be grateful like Maria in The Sound of Music for simple gifts.

Squash Casserole

by Hamlet Halbert

4 c. cooked squash, drained
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can fried onions
3/4 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 medium onion, sliced
buttered bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

Layer/spread squash along the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan. Mix soups, fried onions, grated cheese, salt, and pepper; spread over squash. Cover with buttered bread crumbs. Bake at 350° until brown. Top with onions and return to the oven for five minutes.


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