So This Is Christmas

I was dead asleep this morning and somehow heard the sound of the trash truck laboring up my street.  In a moment I was wide awake, shocked by this one terrifying thought: I FORGOT TO PUT THE GARBAGE OUT!

I pulled on some pants and rushed out to the garage, followed by Merideth's sleepy, "What are you doing!!?"  I discovered to my dismay that I'd missed the trash truck by mere moments.  I decided to go ahead and put out the recycling and yard waste, and while I was in the middle of dragging everything out, the guys in the trash truck pulled up.  

"Put it on the other side of the street, so I can get it," the drive told me.  "We just went by your side." After I'd done just that, he emptied everything into his truck and waved out the window.  "Merry Christmas," he said as he drove off. 

"It really is still Christmas," I thought to myself.  "At least for another twelve days." 

I'm not taking my Christmas decorations down just yet, and not because it's going to be a huge pain in the tuckus to do so.  It's Christmastide until January 6, which is (according to the Church calendar) the beginning of the season of Epiphany in the Christian tradition.  

The temptation that most of us have is to want to put the whole Christmas season behind us, and move on to the next thing.  It won't take long for the retail establishments to have a brief moment of New Year's sales and then they'll be decorating for Valentine's Day.  

I'm not ready for Christmas to be over.  I might want the trash removed, along with the boxes and used wrapping paper. But I want to just rest for a moment with my Christmas lights on and breathe in the reality of this glorious season.  

There's a reason why the Gospel of Luke declares that, after taking everything in from her incredible pregnancy, the journey to Bethlehem, her delivery and the fantastic tales of the shepherds in the fields, Mary "pondered these things in her heart."  

It's Christmas.  The Messiah has come, sisters and brothers. Take a moment to pause and ponder.  Be hopeful.  Let the peace of Christ fill your heart.  Live in joy.  And let your heart be filled with love.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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