This Christmas morning doesn’t look like it used to. No tiny tots at my bedside sounding alarm in unbridled anticipation of gifts under the tree. The oldest two celebrate in other places this morning. The youngest still sleeps in his bed. The house is quiet. It’s weird and wonderful all at the same time.
I watch light overcome darkness and think about the magi noticing a star for the very first time. I hear the Spirit whisper, “He’s here.”
The Wisemen weren’t God worshippers at least not that we know of anyway. We do know they were stargazers and sign-watchers. Curious risk-takers who packed their stuff and headed out guided by the light of the star that heralded the news, “He’s here.”
I hear an invitation. Come… pack up your things. Follow the star’s light and see. He’s here. He’s really here!
Traveling takes lots of packing. There are gifts to wrap and food to cook. The clean clothes wait patiently to be put in suitcases. My hubby scurries around setting things out just in case we need it. The youngest calmly waits for his next assignment. I am bit overwhelmed with all the camo and fishing stuff. It feels like chaos. It’s definitely not like last year or the year before. I would be taking a nap by now.
I breathe deep and heave another suitcase into the truck, pushing and prodding things into place like I’m playing tetris. All this packing makes for physically hard work, but it’s nothing like what’s going on inside. Because in order to go on a trip there is much leaving to be done. This might be the toughest thing of all.
Scanning the kitchen for the last time I wonder, “Did I leave anything important?” I hurry about turning off lights and whisper to the pups, “we’ll be back in a few days.” The truck and boat are ready because our journey north will takes us to a place where “fishing and presence” are part of the celebration.
While I’m not so sure about the fishing.
I do know one thing.
Christmas is about presence.
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”Luke 2:10-14
Did the Magi feel this way as they began their journey. When the preparation work was all done, did their hearts thump with anticipation of what they might find? Did they take a look back and let go with a bit of sadness?
The youngest grins back at me through the rearview mirror. He’s not aware of the pull in this momma’s heart. Of all the letting go it takes to embrace the new. One day he’ll understand. One day he’ll find himself at the crossroads of holding onto what was or journeying to another place. I pray he’ll choose the latter.
Because faith calls us to move toward Jesus, to prepare for the trip and let go. Faith is trusting the path I’m taking leads me to the manger.
When I get there I’ll bow low and worship the newborn King. I’ll whisper in the quiet of the stable, “He’s here.”
He’s finally here!