Advent 2020

Devotional

The gift of family


Christmas reminds us that God became human to show us that, in the midst of all our limitations, God can be reached, and that he lives within each one of us. He is Immanuel.


"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)


Part of a larger family


At home, Christmas has always been a time to set aside other commitments and to share the wonderful gift God has given us to come together again as a family. 


We drink ponche – a traditional Christmas night beverage made of hibiscus, pineapple, papaya, plantain, and raisins. At the table, after saying our prayers, we each unwrap a tamale, which is a typical Guatemalan dish eaten on the night of the 24th. It’s basically a flavourful mix of dough, meat, and sauce steamed in large banana leaves. Tamales are also given as gifts to neighbors and friends as a way to make sure that no one around you goes hungry that night. In this small tradition of gifting tamales to each other, Christmas is also a way of reminding us we’re all part of a bigger family because we are all God’s children. 


Christmas is a time of hope because when we collectively remember we are all part of the same family – and that nothing is as important as sharing our love for one another –  we all come closer to him.


By Caroline Trutmann, Communications Officer for Tearfund in Latin America and the Caribbean. She is based in Guatemala.