Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hope is a blanket

Our dear friends Harry and Lerato lost their unborn child last week. At the funeral service on Saturday, Themba spoke about the Zulu expression, "akulahlwa mbeleko ngakufelwa" which refers to the blanket wrapped around a newborn baby, the Mbeleko. Roughly translated the expression means, "Do not throw away the receiving blanket." It expresses the hope that soon another child will come to fill the blanket.

I can think of no better metaphor for the meaning of Advent. As I read the disastrous tale of Jesus' early years: fleeing a genocidal despot, hiding in Egypt, not to mention his eventual execution; it strikes me that this is a season to recall all the past year's hurts and consider the hope that the Christ child brought to the world despite his own struggles and still brings today despite our own. No matter what has happened to you over the last year, I hope you will not throw away the Mbeleko but allow it to remain open for the Child born for you this Christmas.


Rock in the Grass said...

Hey Greg
so true: so many people find Christmas to be a very painful time: too many memories of loss and grief crowd in. And all too often the preachers gloss over this with "happy talk".

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you for sharing this story with us, it really gave me hope
and engouragement especially on a morning like today. Facing retrenchment is
a bitter pill to swallow especially when you are planning a new life with
someone you care for, but this story gave me new hope that we are serving a
miracle working God so often I forget that what we face is not just real to
us but so very real to Him and that our hope should be in Him always and not
in man. And to remember that there are people facing worse things than us
and yet they do not throw their blanket away...