Well, it’s been a while. Life gets in the way of my ‘ponderings’ and I see some of you folks have still been peeking on the blog to see what I am yammering about today. Thank you for your kind readership and loyalty to what the ole’ girl is up to now.
I think that Christmas is coming rather quickly. Am I ready? Heavens no. But that’s okay…neither were Mary and Joseph. Afraid of what the holidays may hold? Own those feelings. The shepherds were afraid too, and the angels calmed them down. Feeling lost? Yep…our culture can do that to us. I suggest you just look up. That’s what the Wise Men did, and that star did not fail them.
That’s the good thing about coming to the manger. You don’t need an E-Vite or pass code. No ticket or GPS. Just show up. No shirt no shoes no service? No problem. Come just as you are. Frazzled, disappointed, worried, heartbroken, exasperated, joyless. Come into the barn, move the sheep out of the way, smoosh down the straw and make yourself at home. Gaze at the new life and accept the Christ Child’s guidance and freedom from the daily chains of life. Lots of power packed in that little fist. Plenty of grace and mercy tucked inside that tiny King. Feeling brave? Lift that infant from its shabby crib and cuddle the Prince of Peace. Kiss the face of face of your Creator and smile at all the good He has done in creating you. And remember always: Emmanuel craves your attention.
I have heard some folks are muttering about forgetting Christmas.
The recent tragedies have extinguished the fire from our souls. Our nation’s economy is going over the cliff like the Grinch’s sled. Wallets are empty and worry is on overtime. Pantries are turning folks away as their cupboards are bare. The world is mean.
Hmmm. No Christmas? My small brain cannot fathom such thinking. Christmas cannot come fast enough! We need the hope that is found in the manger. Our techno-minds need to unplug and just wonder about the wisdom in the prophecy. This world needs the color, music, and dance that we call Christmas. Cancel Christmas? Absolutely not. Every soul needs that stirring, fire, lullaby that soothes our sagging spirits.
The requirement of Christmas is really this: just show up. Love those who have been walking the journey with you. No gifts, please. Ribbons and bows, while pretty won’t do it. Authentic conversations, bubbly giggles, warm hugs….this is the essence of the holiday. We make it so hard and it is so simple: a birthday in a barn of one who would change the world.
Years ago, I was filling in for a Sunday school teacher with kids of pre-school age. I was desperate for a lesson idea. I scribbled out a poem, traced their handprints and made a grand mess with glitter. But many parents would hang such handprints on their Christmas trees for years. I still have my daughter’s handprint ornament. She was about four then, and is in her thirties, now. The poem goes like this:
Baby Jesus was asleep
So I tiptoed to his bed;
No one saw me sneaking
As I touched His little head.
Jesus raised His little fist
And spread His fingers apart…
First He touched my little hand
And then He touched my heart.
We need a tiny hand to touch our hearts and fill us with hope.
Come. We are waiting with expectancy and anticipation.
Christmas hurry! Boy–and I mean Mary’s boy– do we need it!