December 27, 2010

Glorious In-Between Times

Ah, we’ve reached the in-between times. 

Wads of wrapping paper and torn boxes sit on the curb. There’s still plenty of cookies and fudge, but the baking is done. And for the family of a priest, the noon bells yesterday meant the end of the Christmas services marathon.

In our liturgical life – and my personal life, Christmas has just begun.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I don’t have anything on my to-do list. Sure, we’ll see family and catch a few movies. But the frenzy of shopping lists and Christmas preparations is over. And the new year, complete with its requisite resolutions, has yet to begin.

Over these next few days, I’ll have space to reflect upon Christmas and actually even relish in it. I’ll take time to play the new board games with my children and to snuggle with my husband. If it snows, I’ll make sure to put marshmallows in the hot chocolate and sit with my family while we’re drinking it, instead of multi-tasking.

In these in-between times when the days are short and the bitter wind steals your breath, I understand in a new way why John wrote in the Gospel about light shining forth in the darkness and the darkness not overcoming it. And it becomes easier for me to take seriously and receive lovingly the gift of a baby born in a manger, and how in-between then and now, this birth still changes my heart and the world. 

Merry Christmas.