Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Advent and Acceptance in Austria

A friend of mine from Austria has sent me the following:
'Every December, our village is transformed into a life-sized advent calendar. Every evening, another family decorates a window of their house with an advent theme - the village then meets when the window is lit, we pray, read stories and sing and afterwards, the family serves hot wine and cake to the visitors and we chat and have a good time. It is a wonderful tradition and if you walk through the village in the evening, you can see all the beautiful windows....

Yesterday, at our gathering, our resident gay couple turned up. They have purchased a house here not long ago, and they are open and friendly, obviously wanting to become part of the community. Well, what happened ? They got a warm welcome and were invited to come the next day (to my family's gathering - today it is our turn to decorate a window) and the day after and so on.

I'm very proud of my village, good people are living here.'

I will also include the lovely story her family used for her family's window lighting.

'A man was told by God that God would come for a visit. The man panicked a bit because his house was not ready for a visitor and started preparing. Suddenly a friend knocked on the door and wanted to go and play tennis but the man declined because he had to prepare for God. Then his mother called, she was elderly and asked him for help with shopping but the man excused himself because he had so many things to do before God's arrival. Then the neighbor knocked, she needed help with a blocked pipe in her house but again, the man declined, because he was waiting for God. Finally, he was finished with all his preparations and he was sure everything was ready for God. He waited, but God didn't turn up. In the evening, he got impatient, and by midnight he was pissed. He exclaimed: "God, where are you ? I have prepared myself, I have declined my friend's wishes - see how many burdens I have taken upon myself to prepare for you and now you're not coming!"
"Friend", answered God, "I have tried to visit 3 times today - but you have never let me in."'

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