by Pastor Mark
The power of Christmas comes from compelling stories. A pregnant teenager and her fiancé. Visits by Angels. A mute father. Spending the night in a stable. Shepherds tending sheep. A baby born in a manger. From these simple characters and stories comes a holiday to illuminate our winter, and our lives.
The power of Christmas stories continues in our own experiences. Think for a moment of the characters and stories that inhabit your Christmas picture book of memories. A child’s look of surprise. Carols sung to a friend. The sadness of an empty chair. Colors, and cookies, and lights. Not all our holiday stories are happy ones, but many are the primary markers of our life journey.
Many of my most important Christmas memories involve lights. I love to gaze at the lights on the Christmas tree. Do you know that look when your eyes just go out of focus and the lights glitter in a haze of sparkle and fog? I lose myself in this dreamlike vision until my eyelids snap shut in a hard blink. It is but a moment of time, but seems to touch something eternal.
This intersection is the hope of Christmas—the temporal and the eternal. We merge them together for brief moments of joy, or a sadness. This is the place where the holiday touches our soul. Notice it is often the simplest of encounters, events, or episodes that triggers this date with the divine. In fact, the harder we try, the more elusive the Christmas spirit can be.
Take time, and care, and comfort this season in the simplicity of the story, and the event, and the relationships. Sink into the lights. Know the Christmas peace. As you do your stories will merge with the stories that have been handed down from the ancient peoples long ago and you will know touch the Christ child
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