The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.
With eager anticipation, I look forward to Christmas all year long. I am convinced I was made for decking the halls and trolling the yuletide carol, for baking gingerbread cookies and drinking hot cider! I take extra care in making sure every present is wrapped with the utmost love and beauty. I live for sleigh bells and sugar plums, trimmings and togetherness, mistletoe and a manger. Year after year, I cut down my tree (or purchase it from Home Depot) and decorate it with all my glowing finery!
But have you ever slowed to consider the traditions of the season? Are they merely that, traditions? Or could they possibly be sacred rhythms? As we decorate and celebrate, could we be marking the moment Heaven stepped into our world? As we trim the tree and bake cookies, could we be agreeing God has gifted us the Prince of Peace? As we sing of chestnuts roasting on an open fire and rockin’ around the Christmas tree, could we actually be rehearsing our coming joy? The joy when one day we will sing and dance and praise our Savior not around a tree but around His throne!
You see, it’s never really been about the traditions, the decorations and the celebrations. These have always been an invitation to receive our infant King.
“For to us a child is born, to us, a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
So, what then is there for us to do? We recognize these traditions as invitations to the holiness and presence of God in this season. We celebrate Love incarnate! We prepare our hearts and our homes for the coming of Emmanuel, God with us! For “the Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes…” (John 1:14 MSG) Eugene Peterson says simply, “Our task now is to be present to the One who is present to us.”
This year more than ever, before we pray, we will hear God speaking in the holy hush, “don’t rush, this is holy ground.”