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k15495267The last of the Santas, trees, ornaments, trains, figurines, garlands, and bows have been nestled snuggly into their boxes and bins until next year…so I think. There is always a stray bauble lurking somewhere to remind me of lists that were made, completed, and made again and again and again to insure that everything was purchased, planned, prepared and perfectly ‘ready’ for a festive season speckled with theological intent and magnificently adorned in temporal longings. We had a ball and I wouldn’t change a thing from the last few weeks!

But, now that all of those celebratory events are over, I am ready for Christmas. No, not to return to the time that just passed, rather for the Christmas that Christmas was meant to be. It might be wrapped in quiet night enjoying the winter sky with a gleaming star. Maybe it is the cry of a baby coming into the world, beautiful in her innocence and potential; or a long walk with a puppy who doesn’t have a clue that cold afternoons were not meant for walking, but simply delights in being with you wherever you happen to be; or savoring a juicy orange in all of its simplicity, knowing that something greater than we can begin to understand created the sky, the star, the baby, the puppy and the orange.

You see, as much as I enjoy the winter holiday season, it is now, in the quiet time of winter, that we truly have time to embrace and sink into simplicity…to breathe, to ponder and to respond to that which beacons us to live as we were created to live. Mary’s little boy, who was born so, so long ago, shared with us God’s plan for creation – to love God and, dare I say, all that God created.

Maybe there will be a year when I remember that conviction amidst the frenzy to make every holiday event special. For now, I am happy to finally settle into the hope, peace, joy and love of the season while focusing on being “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) by one who “so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)

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