Heading northeast on the highway on my way home, the moon emerged, a bright golden disc in the sky to my left. It was immense. As I followed the curve of the road, the moon crossed in front of me before settling behind the trees to my right. It was low in the sky so I could no longer see it in its entirety, but it refused to hide, shining audaciously through the bare branches of ashes and oaks and maples. Nature was asserting itself, with a giant moon and frigid temperatures, gusts of biting wind and a sky so wide and deep blue it could have swallowed the earth. It’s winter and I can’t wait for snow.
It’s teased all week: flurries wafting down gently from an overcast sky, wet snowflakes icing the surface of steps and pavement, sudden gusts of swirling white getting whipped across roadways. It’s coming.
Let Heaven and nature sing
Time has gotten away from me the past couple weeks. I’ve been moving from project to project: from 20-page papers to tiled floors to video editing timelines. I’ve crossed things off my list and gotten behind schedule and caught up and fallen behind again and again and again. My head has spun spools and spools of thoughts about gifts and DIY how-tos and the affordances of computer mediated communication methods … but in the moments in between, I’ve glimpsed the light.
I love Christmas time. I love the anticipation and the excitement and the joy. It’s celebration and wonder and generosity. It’s friends and family, neighbors and strangers, gathering and giving and sharing. It’s preparation for something unexpected, something redeeming, something we needed. He came for us: to rescue us, to love us, to show us how to love. He came for every one of us, friend and enemy, lover and hater, hopeful and hopeless. He came and is here and is coming.
Repeat the sounding joy
Through months of hate and torment and fear, Christmas comes to us this year. It comes every year, whether we’re ready or not, but, oh how I feel ready right now. Our world is crying out, groaning against the pain of its people. Alongside all the joy of Christmas, there is always also sadness and desperation, loss and loneliness, trembling and and weariness. We can celebrate, but we must also hold space. We must hold space and vigil and regard for those who ache and long.
We cannot forget the pain or dismiss the suffering, but we also cannot forget the hope or dismiss the redemption that will come to throw off the world’s groaning. It will come and cover us all.
Far as the curse is found
For now, it’s up to us to mimic what we see in the life of the one born at Christmas. We must love. We must welcome. We must walk alongside and lift up. We must abide and serve and love and not let go.
Lights are strung along windows and eaves. Garlands encircle railings and posts. The stars perch on top and the gifts are laid low beneath a tree glittering with red and green and gold. The world is shining and glittering. For there is hope in what we know at Christmas. There is hope in a baby who came to rescue us with his mercy.
And wonders of His love