I took my Christmas decorations down today, a little earleir than planned, but I am back to work tomorrow and on a course from Thrusday so there was no choice really, and while I enjoyed them I have to say that it is a relief that the intensity of the Christmas season has been set aside.
My living room feels different now, a season has turned, and my focus has shifted, not really away from the wonder of the incarnation but from the centre of the story. I have moved from the babe in the manger to embrace the fuller implications of the miracle that God is, and always will be incarnate among us. God in Jesus the man, and in the fuller sense in Christ who was always more than the one event, who flung stars into space and breathed life into this world, this galaxy, this universe, and me!
… “and me” that I am God breathed continues to challenge and mystify me, drawing me to awe-filled worship in a way that is hard to explain, and yet I know that I am not alone in being continually blown away by the fact that God would come so close,even closer than my next breath…
So I am left pondering the Nativity story whose conclusion on the 2nd Feburary at Candlemas (and my birthday) will lead us to Simeon and Anna, whose prophesies are both dark and hope-filled. God has done it, he has come among us vieled in flesh and in doing so unviels the fact that s/he was here all along.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus challenged his followers to be salt and light, or as the Message Version puts it, to draw out the God colours and God flavorus in this world, they have of course been here all along, our problem is that we miss them all too often.
I miss them when I am overwhelmed with too many details and worries and when the weeds of life threaten to strangle me with my own pettiness.
I miss them when I become overly concerned with my own comforts and forget that the world is so much bigger than my own concerns.
I mis them when I focus on being right and forget to hold my perceptions and insights loosley.
I miss them, I too often miss them….
I took my Christmas decorations down today but my walk of faith has not ended, nor did the story of the shepherds or the Magi as they left the Christchild full of wonder and awe…
Our stories of faith go on, we share them, we tell them within our contexts and callings, at our best we simply tell them and set them free to do their work. God with us Immanuel, is as powerful from the manger, the cross or the resurrection whose stories are fanned into flame again and again by the Spirit who infuses all with life.
I took my Christmas decorations down today, next year I will put them up again in a differnt house, in a different city, every year is filled with wonder, every season with fresh possibilities when I dare to have eyes to see, when I have a heart to hold and share the wonder…