Advent calendar prayer and reflection for 21 December
“For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy.”
Mary and Elizabeth are filled with joy at seeing each other once again.
It can often be joyful to see family members after a long time apart. There is so much to catch up on. News to hear, exclamations of “my, haven’t you grown” to be borne, old jokes revived.
But imagine how you would feel if you were reunited after thinking you might never see one another again.
In 2016 our Lost Family portraits series showed the stories of refugee families in Lebanon and their loved ones who were dead, missing or still in Syria.
Mohammed and his family posed with an empty chair left for their daughter Reem. Aged 21, she had become separated from her family on her wedding night during bombing.
Last year Mohammed was overjoyed finally to find his daughter.
“Thank God we found her. She is in Turkey. I am very happy. It had been four years that I didn’t know anything about her. When we found out about her and where she is we spent two days speaking on the phone.
When we talked I found out that I was a grandfather. I am very happy. I am very proud.”
At this time of year, which often brings about family reunions, we hold in our hearts all those who are still searching for relatives. We pray for those who mourn or are still separated from those they love. And we think of those for whom family reunions are a struggle rather than a joy.
We hope and pray that more people may know the joy of reunion, like Mohammed and Reem, and Mary and Elizabeth.
God our Father, strengthen those who search for family members who are lost, that they may not give up hope. Grant that all your children may know peace, joy and love. Amen.
Come together with your family, friends or Church community to sing for joy. If you are organising a carol service, or just fancy a sing song round the Christmas tree, use our carol sheet to find the words.