As Christmas is passing and we put away the decorations, find places for new gifts, and our gaze drifts from the nativity scene, our minds usually “forget about Christmas” until the season arrives on our doorstep next year.
This year during Advent, the thought came to me that many of us tend to see Christmas as the finale or the ending event to our time of waiting. I’m starting to think that maybe that perspective is upside down.
Christmas is an arrival. A beginning.
Christ has come. Christ is here among us. Now, I know each season is the symbolic reminder of this truth. Of course, we all know that Christ is always here with us, abiding with us. Don’t we? Or do we.
I am a forgetful creature, and I wonder if any of you can identify with me. Christmas comes and goes, and we all celebrate the the Savior came into the world to begin His ministry and set forth the foundation of our hope. That He came to identify with us and walk with us in our humanity. What a glorious miracle!
But when the lights are put away, and life becomes day-to-day again, it’s easy to let go of what that truly means in our lives. It’s easy to put away the joy along with the decorations.
But, brothers and sisters! What if we live–every day forth–like joy has come? Between now and Lent, what if we live out the reality that Christmas brings into our lives. I can’t say that I have embraced this idea in the past, but it’s an idea that is growing inside of me.
It feels easy to imagine right now as I have a baby girl that was born on the brink of Advent last year. How true it is that she didn’t arrive and then disappear. A year later, here she is AND GROWING! Her name is Noelle (French for Christmas). Appropriately, she is filled with the message of joy, and year round her name calls this to mind. I realized that we are uniquely blessed to have her reminding us of the Christmas story long after Christmas has passed, and it causes me to wonder if this is indeed how it is supposed to be.
I think of Mary often. The reality that Jesus came into her life that glorious evening as a baby–a real baby–and how the wonder didn’t stop that day… or with Epiphany, or any other great celebration thereof. He was there growing each day in a very real way. He really had come and was alive. Jesus came to stay. From that day on. Even after His ministry and death, He arose and was here. He is still here in Spirit. He will come again.
We waited and Christmas came! Jesus came, and He is here. The celebration has not so much ended, but is revived with new beginning. Christmas has begun. What are we going to do about it now? How are we going to enter this year with the renewed awareness that He is with us? How will we walk with Hope? How will we live with His companionship? How will the arrival of Christmas impact today and tomorrow?
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