this is what was in my head when I woke up...
oh happy day, Christmas morning is in five days.
In the advent of one of America's most precious celebrations, the birth of the baby Jesus, already the streets here take on more of a holiday feel. No, we don't have an all encompassing blanket of snow upon the ground -- like the entire east coast from DC to Boston (making almanac history in and of itself) -- but it just feels different somehow.
From my perch -- high on a hill gazing out over my kingdom (right...on the second floor of a modest condo that is) -- overlooking the usual commercial fair, one can't help but notice that less people are commuting, there isn't the usual hustle into the Starbucks below, the bright yellow school buses passing by at 7:25 are nowhere to be seen, as something seems to be happening...
The feelings and traditions for all of us at this time of year are unique to each of us, sure. Just because we wake up to the smell of Christmas cardamom bread with a lavish spread of orange frosting and plates heaped in bacon, doesn't mean we all do. But as the day begins to come a little closer to us, our natural impulses to get excited, mirroring our memories as children, seem to swell up inside us all over again, as something seems to be happening...
Over the weekend the history channel was showing documentaries surrounding things of the season -- things like angels, the days leading up to the birth of a Savior, and the background story of Mary and Joseph. And one thing still sits with me this morning, in this morning while sipping my coffee and stirring the memories of Christmas past with the Christmas coming, as something seems to be happening...
It was a stable. It was a simple carpenter and his bride to be. It was not in a castle, or a temple, or within the walls of a king's domain -- it was a stable. Surely, upon the advent of God bringing forth His One and only Son, he could have chosen anywhere he wanted, in a host of different circumstances, for all of posterity and memory to ring in in celebration for millenniums later, couldn't He? For surely He knew, something was happening unto the world that would change everything.
But no, He chose a mother who would live on in the highest as the virgin Mary, bringing the world a Savior -- and a doubting carpenter, not even sure what he was getting himself into and taking every ounce of power of an angel to convince him to be the father -- and all within the humble setting of a stable, fit with hay and a few blankets, as something seemed to be happening and there was no room in the Inn.
Angels of the Lord came to the shepherds in fields nearby, and to the trembling keepers of their flocks, the angels said,
"Do not be afraid.
I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you;
he is Christ the Lord.
This will be a sign unto you:
You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel,
praising God and saying,
'Glory be to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Then after the angels disappeared, the shepherds turned to each other and said,
"Let's go to Bethlehem and see the thing that has happened,
which the Lord told us about."
The thing, they said. The thing.
Yes, something seems to be awakening inside us this morning. And the closer we get, the harder it will be to sleep. We are coming upon the day that celebrates the birth of baby who changed time, elevated human consciousness, and continues to this day to transcend the trappings of the earth and bring us good tidings, if not also a little peace on earth -- not for a day, not for a week of Christmas vacation, but for all time and in every way, forever and ever.
Jesus is five days away from fundamentally transforming America -- thanks be to God, no one can ever take the Spirit and the Reason for the Season away.
Make it a Good Day, G