“The symbol of Christmas—what is it? It is the rainbow arched over the roof of the sky when clouds are heavy and foreboding. It is the cry of life in the newborn babe, when forced from its mother’s nest, it claims the right to life. It is the brooding presence of the Eternal Spirit making crooked ways straight, rough places smooth, tired hearts refreshed, dead hopes stiff with newness of life. It is the promise of tomorrow at the close of every day, the movement of life in defiance of death, and the assurance that love is sturdier than hate, that right is more confident than wrong, that good is more permanent than evil.”Howard thurman
Every year our church, our families, our communities hype Christmas with get-togethers and special events that bring us all a little closer to one another. I truly hope you were able to experience this on some level. While we get tangled in the mixed messages of Christmas being about gifts, or about movies, or that cookie we always eat, I hope once the dust settles you are able to reflect and see what makes it truly special…. and that is the incarnation of God on each face.
It’s over now. The closet that secretly contained all of the grandkids presents is just a closet. The thrill of receiving your very own air fryer or iPad has worn off which is always the case with getting stuff. The lull that follows Christmas may have you debating whether to take down decorations now or wait a month or two or three. Now what? If you aren’t a baby person, you may be able to relate to this feeling that often follows Christmas. What do you want me to do with this baby? They just lie there until they go to the bathroom. I can’t talk to it or play with it, only hold it.
Now what? We do just that. Now we hold onto baby Jesus even if we aren’t baby people. We gaze into his eyes, and we see a rainbow in the sky, the Eternal Spirit, the promise of a new day, the movement of life in defiance of death, and the assurance that love is sturdier than hate. Christmas is only the beginning. At his birth the promises of God begin unfolding for all to witness the ways of God’s peace, hope, joy and love.
May you hold him and ponder all these things in your heart, even when the tree must come down, even when the nativity must be packaged up, for this is only the beginning. Hallelujah, this is only just the beginning!
Holy God, through the life of this child we will come to know salvation on earth as it is in heaven. This is a new beginning. This is a fresh start. This is our invitation to welcome your promises into our lives and let them pour upon our world. Thank you for Jesus. Amen.
Blessings for your journey,
Rev. Keith McDevitt