As we get back to work or start cleaning up the decorations and putting away the tree, let's pause and consider... What was it like for Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds after that first Christmas?
Every Christmas season it seems that a different song ministers to my heart. And each year it's something I hang on to for the Christmas season, using it to help me keep focus and even learn a different perspective on this season that we think we all know so well by now.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves with the final week's preparations, let's take a moment and prepare space in our thoughts for Him. Have we left room in our thoughts for Him? Or are we more prone to fill it with lies we tend to think are truth, thoughts about ourselves, or thoughts that look down on others? Are we filling our mind with to-dos and what ifs and should-haves instead of promises and truth?
Twenty years ago I married into the Suvar family. I knew that they had family roots from the Czech Republic and Slovakia but didn't know how much of that had carried forward from the move to America. But, like many traditions that get passed along through families - food and holiday traditions were part of it. A tradition that has become special to me is the Vilija dinner that we enjoy together every Christmas. There are specific decorations used and certain foods that we eat. Each part points to the story of Jesus in some way and I love the reflection that comes with it as we gather together as a family to commemorate Christ's birth.
Gathering together when your family is fractured by death feels out of sync. The usual rhythms that you were once used to have to be re-coordinated, new roles assumed, and traditions shift. In times like these, when you are no longer as you once were and those who remain are trying to find their way - this is a time to gather in holy defiance.