This time of preparation to celebrate Christmas is a time of making decorations and gifts. That is how it was, traditionally, and that is what some are encouraging us to rediscover again. Certainly, I appreciate receiving hand-made, home-made Christmas cards – the thought and work that went into designing and making something. And certain Christmas works of art made by my children will be treasured for years to come.
The sixth and penultimate Advent Antiphon is ‘O Rex Gentium’ or ‘O King of the nations.’ It speaks of Jesus as the one who fashioned the human race from clay, and hints of the creative impulse of those made in the likeness of a Creator, a creative impulse that is shaped both by the condition of living divided from God and neighbour and by the salvation Christ brings with his coming.
I have set this prayer at the craft box. You might get out coloured pencils and write it out – or even clay and inscribe it – or simply meditate on it while making a gift or decoration.
O Rex Gentium
O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.
Advent: making room for Jesus – in the craft box.