“He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.” (Isaiah 40:11 NIV)
“Christmas is meant to take us to the level of spiritual maturity where we are capable of seeing in a manger the meaning of an empty tomb. It is meant to enable us to see through the dark days of life to the stars beyond them.” (The Liturgical Year, Joan Chittister)
The days after Christmas often leave me at a loss. A darkness overshadows the recent joys of the season. This year I planned to avoid the post-Christmas blues. I would observe Christmastide or the Twelve Days of Christmas, continuing the feast until its culmination on January 6th, Epiphany. After three days, my observations have been fairly mundane. I wrote down the gifts of each day—the moments that stood out, while practicing thanksgiving in all things. I found myself enjoying home, running errands and visiting with friends.
As I drove around today in a low energy mode, pushing myself to finish the errands, I kept asking God what do I need? I haven’t been very hungry for His word. My mind wanted a break from thinking.
After returning home from errands, the high intensity of the past six weeks caught up with me. I began to wonder how I would make it through the dark days of winter. I wanted to be cradled, to be held close and to rest. So I took a nap.
When I woke up, I was drawn back to my intention to observe Christmastide. To take time to sit quietly with God. Silently. No words needed. Enjoying the twinkling lights on the tree, brewing a cup of coffee, snuggling up with a blanket on the couch to be cradled by the Presence of God. Reminding myself that it is perfectly fine to have no agenda right now. Permission to rest, to breathe and to enjoy the moments of each day.
Today I choose to celebrate the glory, which started in a cradle, albeit a feeding trough, and culminnated on the cross and ultimately was revealed through the empty tomb.