This Christmas has been a special one. Not only were we celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ but we were celebrating the upcoming birth of our second grandchild. And for the first time since our first grandchild was born, Aiden and his family were spending Christmas with us! My excitement drove me to decorate the house with enthusiasm I had not had in a very long time. By the time Aiden arrived the house was twinkly with lights, trees were alive with color and Christmas music danced throughout the house. The week they spent was us was such a gift that I needed nothing under the Christmas tree. Baking and cooking Christmas favorites, playing board games, singing songs, hunting for the Elf on the Shelf each morning, the memories and time spent will be in my heart, mind and soul forever.
But, alas, all good things come to an end, right?
With the aid of a young man we have watched grow up on our street, we placed the naked trees, the garland, the nativities, and ornaments carefully wrapped and placed in boxes up in the attic. I felt like a balloon that had overtime lost its air and slowly deflated. Like the cold front that blows in the clouds and rain, I looked around our home and it was naked and bare.
Epiphany Sunday found us in church participating in a covenant renewal service. A song was sung that I had never heard but changed my heart and thoughts about the end of the Season of Joy. In The Work of Christmas Begins by Dan Forrest the words reminded me that rather than being the end of a season, it truly is the beginning. For Christ’s birth marked the beginning of Christianity. With Jesus among us we were taught the true purpose for our lives and in his death we learned of God’s great love that we might live in Christ’s likeness and continue his mission.
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 flocks.
The work of Christmas begins.
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the pris’ner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers
To make music from the heart.
The work of Christmas begins. http://www.danforrest.com/satb-a-cappella/the-work-of-christmas/
This year as the last of Christmas resides in the attic, I will leave one special piece out. And that is my Christmas heart. It is in my heart that Christ resides and rather than it being the end of Christmas, I choose to see it as a beginning. A beginning of what God can do with me, through me and in me. Will you join me?
In what Pope Francis calls The Year of Mercy, may you resolve to find the lost, heal the broken, feed the hungry, release the prisoner (hurts, habits, and hang-ups), rebuild nations (your own neighborhood, town, city or church), bring peace among brothers (families), make music from your heart and begin the work of Christmas throughout 2016.
Happy New Year!