Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Last Holdout in My Neighborhood

I must be the last holdout in my neighborhood. As usual, we are the only ones with a lit Christmas tree left standing.

Today is January 3, and this morning I enjoyed some morning quiet time in the dark, gazing into the Christmas tree with my coffee cup in hand. I remembered the fun things we did with my family, the holiness of the services we held at church, the cheer and food we shared with friends, the thoughtfulness of the book I read, and the needed rest that came as a result of having a cold. I remembered my mom who loved Christmas and the fact that I have entered the year of the 100th anniversary of the family piano, an heirloom she passed on to me. I remembered all sort of random memories related to the ornaments I was gazing at. I chuckled at my new "investment," as I called it with my family, the Romulan Warbird ornament with the green glow of its warp engines. Perhaps it is a poor theological statement for a Christmas tree, but it is most definitely a reflection of the fun we have as a family.

As I remembered all these things, I was gazing into the light.

Christmas is not a birthday party for Jesus that's over on December 26. For one thing, no one knows the date of his birth. In the eastern church, many Christians won't celebrate Christmas until this coming Tuesday, because they use a different calendar than we do. That's yet another reason to remember that Christmas is not a birthday party.

From ancient times, it is a twelve day feast of the incarnation. We are still in the Christmas season, which is not over until this coming Sunday. At my house, we are still opening a few presents and enjoying some quiet together, all with a joyful and humorous refusal to turn off the lights. Not yet.

This weekend, I invite you to behold the light. Spend some time with a candle or a tree. The scriptures call the Messiah, our Lord Jesus, a light that has come into the world so that the darkness shall never overcome it. He is the light of the world that compels us to see and be radiant.

What joys could enlightenment bring you this year?