We are having our family cookie bake this afternoon – virtually! My husband and sons and I have been baking Christmas cookies together since they were very little. When they grew older, they brought high school and then college friends home for the family cookie bake. It was not unusual to bake 700 cookies in one day together. They would be strewn all over the counter tops and tables. Then we would wander the house to collect them in tins and on plates for sharing with friends and enjoying through the holidays.
In the last few years cookie baking got spread out over the several states in which we all now live, but there was always at least one son and some friends to bake with. This year I wasn’t sure Mike and I would bake cookies. Then I got a call from my oldest son proposing a virtual family cookie bake. We will gather at noon our time on zoom and bake in our respective kitchens for 2-3 hours. We will chit chat, problem solve, tell stories and share our achievements and our disasters. We’ll bring in the grandparents at the end to oo and ah at the results. As I write this, it occurs to me this is sort of a miniature of what family is all about.
In the communion liturgy there is a prayer I say every time we gather for the Lord’s supper. It’s called the Great Thanksgiving. The purpose of the prayer is to say thank you to God for all of God’s extraordinary blessings. Toward the beginning of the prayer are these words: We thank you and praise you, for in the beginning you created all things and you set us in families to live with you in faith on the earth.
I am grateful for family today: for my family of origin, for my parents and siblings and the grandparents that loved me as a child. I am grateful for my husband and sons and their beloved. I am grateful for my granddaughter, her parents, and my grandson on the way. I am grateful for nieces and nephews and aunts and uncles and for all of the people who have stepped into my life and have become surrogate family members. I am grateful to live in faith with God in the company of these I love.
I know you share this kind of gratitude. Be sure you find safe and creative ways to live the life of faith and love with your family in these holy days.
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