each branch, straining to place strands of lights on a tree that only my family would ever see. We loved every moment of it. On Christmas Eve, we would gather in the living room to hear my father read the Christmas story wearing the pajamas my mother had made that year, staring at the presents under the tree in an attempt to interpret each curve and corner.
The great anticipation with which we approached Christmas morning made the day after Christmas all the more dismal. When anticipation is met with its object, one often feels a deep sense of sadness. Is there anything lonelier than a tree stripped of its lights?
Over the past four weeks, our church family has been celebrating the Advent season with all of its attendant traditions. It has been a blessed season! Today, we find ourselves on the other side of Christmas morning likely experiencing our own unique sense of sadness. Faced with a return to “normal” (whatever that means), we are likely seeking to fill the void left by four weeks of meaningful reflection on the birth of Christ.
Allow me to share some good news: it doesn’t have to end. Though I will never condone a Christmas tree that remains in the living room through February, I will most certainly encourage each of us to continue our reflection on the greatest gift of all: the Incarnation. In Jesus Christ, God has spoken a word of joy and hope that lasts beyond the Christmas season. In fact, it is an eternal Word that transforms every area of our lives. This Word comes to us anew each morning; it rises with the sun and sheds light upon a world often clothed in darkness. It breaks through the mundane chatter of pointless prose streamed from a screen. It takes hold of our hearts and will not let go.
So, as you pack away decorations over the coming weeks (or months… bless you), remember that the anticipation need not end. The life of faith is a life of eager expectation. It keeps listening for the Word made flesh.
Our staff is voluntold each week and with grace they share their thoughts.