Advent Reflection: "Hygge"

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Each week of Advent we offer a reflection on "What Advent Means to Me." This week: Ingrid Addison, FPC Director of Mission and Outreach

The Danish word hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) means cozy and comfortable. One of the best compliments I received recently was when a friend walked into my house and said, “I feel hygge when I’m in your home.” It filled my heart to know that she experienced what I hope my home to be: a place that is warm, inviting, and cozy.

As I reflect on Advent and the days leading up to Christ’s birth, I consider what Mary and Joseph experienced as they prepared to welcome their child. Their preparation? Walk 98 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a town where they didn’t have family awaiting them. In fact, they found no place to stay. Instead, there was a cave and a trough, some animals and cloths. And “while they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,” in not the most hygge of places, probably just the opposite.

This is our King. He didn’t enter the world comfortably nor live his life in search of comfort. His birth, life, and death are marked by humility and service. And so, as I pause to think about the meaning of all of this--Advent, Christ’s birth, his life and my relationship with him, I pretend to be one of those “shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night” and hearing the angel say, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." And so, the shepherds "hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, lying in the manger." Luke 2 (The Birth of Jesus)

The shepherds wasted no time. They went and saw. And what did they find? The Truth, the Gift, the Savior. Born in the lowliest of places to be love and hygge to the world. Praise be to God!

FPC Richmond