Sunday, November 24, 2013

Coming on Christmas

"It's coming on Christmas.
They're cutting down trees.
They're putting up reindeer,
and singing songs of joy and peace.
Oh I wish I had a river
to skate away on..." --Joni Mitchell

It's coming on Christmas. Already the melancholy has crept in, and it isn't even Thanksgiving. I've been thing about what I want for Christmas, what I could give. Ann Voskamp found the words that express my heart's yearing, "You don't want a Christmas you can buy. You don't want a Christmas you can make. What you want is a Christmas you can hold. A Christmas that holds you, remakes you, revives you. You want a Christmas that whispers, Jesus." 

Of course pressures come with the season, just as sure as carols and twinkling lights appear. And I feel these thoroughly worldly cares trying to crowd out the Story. Trying to make Christmas about the presents I can't afford to buy. Or the decorations I can't afford to either buy or make. And that's not what it's about.

So, this year, I'm making it a point to give only what I can, and to make sure that includes the Greatest Gift: Jesus. I want a Baby for Christmas, the mystery of the Word made flesh. I want to hold Him, because never fails to hold me.

Last night I decorated our tiny tree with dollar store ornaments. I'd rather have a huge, real tree with all the trimmimngs, ornaments from years past, full of holy sentiment. But I didn't have that.  I have what I have, my first Nativity set and a three foot tinsel tree.

I tried to make the best of it, and I did. I got heart shaped ornaments for God's love, and "joy" ornaments, and doves in flight for the work of the Holy Spirit, and I got stars, so that I'd be wise enough to seek the Lord. The tree is little but pretty, a tiny still life of grace in a ghetto life.

Isn't God good? You can make a lot of a little, and he shows up as if you had so much more. My sister and I decorated the tree, and the kids popped in and out and for a few moments, listening to Christmas music, I didn't want to skate away on a river. I wanted to be there for it all, even with lingering sadness, because after all, it's coming on Christmas. And I keep seeing joy in my decorations.

I hope we can enjoy the journey to Christmas Day together, us with our fish and loaves holy day and Jesus and each other. 

That's all we need.

Joy to the world.

1 comment:

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