Christmas comes with celebration. The anticipation arrives in presents under sweet pine smelling trees, the songs of snow, bells, and mangers on the radio, and the twinkling lights of houses near and far. I breathe in the scenery, allowing the atmosphere to fill my lungs. I wonder, what is this celebration, that all around me, believer and not, embrace with such joy?
Christmas day comes with more celebration. Joy floods my home, it shines on the faces of my family, in the wrapping paper strewn across the living room floor, the dirty dinner dishes that sit in the sink waiting to be washed, and the singing that abounds. This year, however, sorrow tints Christmas day, the kind of sorrow that attempts to hide itself under smiles, for there is a seat at our table that will no longer be filled. What is this celebration? That makes us smile in spite of the sorrow?
Christmas comes with answers. The answer lies in a manger scene, where light falls on the baby Jesus, and I remember those tiny hands made my heart. Those little lips brought the world to be, all that I see around me. Those feet would one day be wounded and pierced for the dark that lies in my heart. That helpless baby was the mighty Lord of Lords, who made the universe. A miracle I will never comprehend.
Christmas ends with contentment, and yet brings an aching for more. I rejoice in the miracle of Emmanuel, and the celebration that his birth brings. But underneath this contentment, comes a peace filled longing in the knowledge that there is more, oh so much more. I remember those infant hands that held the world and were pieced for me, will one day wrap around me and welcome me into their presence forevermore.