It’s Christmas Day, and the world has stopped. As I sit by the lake near my home writing, I hear no noise that I would usually associate with the world. I only hear the wind rustling the leaves of the trees, the water lapping, the ducks swimming on the surface of the water, and the distant sounds of a barking dog. This special writing place is one of my favorite parts of living here. I get to see God’s glory every day.
But. back to my musings about Christmas Day. It’s almost as if the world has stopped to take a collective breath in anticipation of what’s to come. A break from darkness, from cruelty, from the ways we can just be mean to each other. A light is piercing the darkness. For those of us who believe, it’s the light of our Lord and Savior, our Messiah, who was born on this day over two thousand years ago. I do know historically that Jesus was probably not born on December 25. But, that’s not the point. Christmas is a symbol, a time when we stop and think about what Jesus’ birth and death mean to us. A time when the light pierces the darkness. We are kinder to each other. We say I love you more readily. We are more willing to give. And we are not as selfish as we usually are. These are all things I saw this morning at church. There was no frantic running around to make sure things were just right. There was calmness and peace as we centered our hearts on Jesus.
Why can’t we be like this all year round? Why can’t we enjoy the relationships we have like I saw this morning? Why can’t we give ourselves permission to just stop?
It would be easy to say that’s how the world works, and I believe it does to a certain extent, but I also believe it’s because of certain choices we make. Choices of doing our best to grab the brass ring; choices of not noticing the lonely, the hungry, or the homeless; choices of not allowing the intimacy of close relationships we were made for; choices of saying that things have to be done a certain way in our churches. We all make choices that can make it impossible for us to stop.
But, God wants us to stop. He made us to need rest and renewal. Whether you are sitting outside on a seventy-five degree day today (as I am), or whether you are looking at snow-covered roads from somewhere nice and warm, I pray you will sense God’s presence and peace in the stillness or in the noise and that you will know the true reason for the season.
Merry Christmas and God’s blessings on all of you!