I love this time of year. I so enjoyed our family gatherings, singing carols at our Christmas Eve service, the gifting, feasting and gratitudes of Christmas Day. Yet this morning, three days later, the lights on the tree still sparkle and beckon, and the house is quiet. The buzz and hum and sense of anticipation have given way to peace and a calmness we haven’t felt in days.
Of course there are things new and old to be put away, items packaged up to return, Christmas cards still waiting to be sent. And more piles and mess stashed here and there than I’d like to admit to. I will get to these in time. The return towards normal life reminds me that this is where Christ meets me, in the daily and often mundane circumstances in which I live and breathe. Which is often not how I expect to see him. Like Jesus’ unexpected birth in a stable, God appears right smack in the unkempt mess of our real lives as Emmanuel, which means “God With Us.” We are invited to come as we are, and remember that we are beloved, just as we are. All we need do is simply be willing to receive his love, peace, joy and hope. As I pause to remember this, gazing at the still resplendent Christmas tree, I feel a shift, and with it a hope that I might be able to pass it on. One of my favorite quotes is, “God comes to us disguised as our life.” Spiritual direction helps me attend to the truth of this statement, and gives me eyes to see and ears to hear God's messages of love that on my own I might miss. I wonder how God might come to you today, perhaps in the guise of something you might not expect? A conversation, a phrase, a glimpse of nature's beauty, someone's gentle touch? Will you notice it and consider the source? How will you respond?
"And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth." John 1:14