Tuesday, January 29, 2019

What next after Christmas?

Part of our Nativity scene at home on Christmas Eve...

  When the song of the angels is stilled, 
  When the star in the sky is gone, 
  When the kings and princes are home, 
  When the shepherds are back with their flock, 
  The work of Christmas begins:

  To Find the Lost, 
  To Heal the Broken, 
  To feed the Hungry,
  To Release the Prisoner, 
  To Rebuild the Nations, 
  To Bring Peace among others, 
  To Make Music in the heart.

    ---Howard Thurman

I always find myself a little reflective after Christmas. The tree and its ornaments, the stars in the windows, nativity sets, and old cherished stockings bring rivers of memories. I just don't want all the festivities to end. I want to continue to feel my loved ones close, hear the familiar music, and see the stillness of a winter night with all the sprinkled lights under the stars. But then I think, what do I do with all the extra light, music, and love from this season? I agree with Ebeneezer Scrooge who says in The Christmas Carol, "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach."

I believe every Christmas we can discover who we want to be for the rest of the year. We can bring some laughter and a smile to a child because we remember what it was like to be a child. We can invite someone who looks lonely to come in. We can talk to someone who looks scared or sad. All those Christmas lights, laughter, and love were meant to teach us something: to remember to be a little more like Him for the rest of the year.

All Elias wanted this year was a Santa suit. He wore it on the streets of Stockholm and Doha. Maybe we should bring it out in July to have me remember Scrooge's promise to live with all the past, present and future Christmases together.

     I like this poem that my friend, Erik Jacobsen wrote.

     Christmas Afternoon

        He is there. 

        Amid the cast-off wrappings 
        and trappings of Christmas-spent, 
        in the fatigue of gifting and getting, 
        for both the perennially disappointed
        and those who got all they wanted.
        He is there. 

         In the stories and the stockings, 
         but also in the cold, dark, lonely streets, 
         in the homes of the unbelievers
         and underachievers, 
         He is there. 

         This newborn babe
         with eyes to see and ears to hear
         soon will have words to speak:
         "My peace I give unto you...
         Let not your heart be troubled."

          In the fallen pine needles
          on the floor around the dried-out tree, 
          among the broken ornaments
          and too much chocolate, 
          in this loud or quiet place, 
          He takes my face
          in his tender newborn hands
          and softly shows me, 
          "Here I am."

              --Erik Jacobsen  2018

One thing I do to keep Christmas alive for me is to leave my stars up. Hopefully, it will remind me of the new stars that have arisen in me this season. (Heleman 14:5)  I don't want them to fade away...

1 comment:

  1. Bonne année ensoleillée de joie et de bonheur.