Being Like a Cup (A Children’s Homily)

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I want to start this morning by showing you this cup. What do you think makes this cup useful? Is it the sides or the way it is decorated? No it is the empty space right! This cup is useful because of what it can contain. It is useful because it is ready to accept whatever you might pour into it. Water, milk, juice, glue – the possibilities are endless.

In Japanese art, like those beautiful screens with landscapes of trees or bird, the unpainted part, the white spaces are called “yohaku.” This is a new word, so feel free to practice it with me now, Yohaku. Yohaku. Yohaku is important because it is full of possibility. It is like a blank white piece of paper. There is room for whatever you want to draw or write.

We are now in the season of Advent. A season when we are getting ready for Christmas, getting ready for Jesus to come. But sometimes we are so busy that we don’t know how to enter the mystery of Christmas. We need time to make some blank space or yohaku so that we can be ready. 

This year, Advent and Christmas might be very different. You might not be having your typical holiday traditions. You might not be traveling or seeing all your family. There might not be a holiday concert at school. But you might have more blank space. You might have more time to be with your family and pray. You might have time to look at your nativity scene or advent calendar. Or perhaps you have some time to learn some Advent hymns. Whatever life looks like at your house right now, you have a chance to be more like this cup. To have some room to receive whatever it is that is coming. And the good news this morning is that the greatest gift of all is coming. Jesus. I pray that you enjoy having a chance to be mor

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The Rev. Joani Peacock, Editor for Emmanuel Voices: A Parish Blog

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