The tree is down, and the Christmas presents have finally begun migrating to more permanent homes in the playroom, and on newly empty shelves. It looks as if Christmas is over, which brings us to the uncomfortable question- what’s next?
Advent fills our days and nights with a variety of activities and events designed to prepare for and celebrate the coming of our infant King. And then, in what seems like a blink, it’s all over. Yet, we see in scriptures that the events surrounding the birth of the Savior continued with the arrival of wise men, trips to the temple, encounters with prophets, and even a midnight escape. And yet, in the middle of all of that chaos we are told that Mary “treasured these things in her heart and pondered them.” As usual, Mary makes it sound easy.
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. ” ~ Luke 2:19
As our world loses some of the sparkle, optimism, patience, and joy that inexplicably multiply as we prepare for Jesus, it can be a challenge to hang on to those things. Yet, we have the example of Mary “treasuring these things in her heart” all those years ago, and a more recent example in Charles Dickens’ Scrooge, who “knew how to keep Christmas in his heart, and keep it well.” If those two could handle visiting dignitaries, death threats, and life changing hauntings, I should be able to handle a few Legos and visiting family.
So, in this last week before the Baptism of the Lord ends our Christmas adventures for the year, let us find a way to keep some of that Christmas magic in our hearts. Perhaps take a moment to reflect on the joyful smile of a child still enraptured with a precious toy. Or reflect on the simple beauty that a candle in a window or a strand of lights on a tree provide.
“And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. ” ~Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
I think that our world, especially now, could use a few more people who know how to treasure the joy and hope of Christmas and keep it well, don’t you?