This morning, I sneaked downstairs twenty minutes before my alarm, sat with my coffee in the living room, and listened to the rain on the windowpane. I stared at our Christmas tree, admiring the twinkling lights and the ornaments, even the silly ones.
In just a few days, our tree will be gone, stowed away in our garage, the ornaments packed up in newspaper. In a week, I’ll be back to packing lunches and water bottles. Life will go back to normal, the Christmas magic gone, the days returning to their very ordinary rhythms.
How to keep the miracle of Christmas in our hearts
There’s always some sense of disappointment when it’s all over. We go back to our regular routines and our ordinary lives, perhaps armed with our new year’s resolutions to Do Better, Eat Better, and Be Better. The empty spot where the Christmas Tree stood mirrors the emptiness we feel inside.
But the miracle of Christmas is that God took on flesh and came to us as a baby. Christmas morning wasn’t the end of the celebration, it was just the beginning. Because that baby Jesus grew up to show us what God is like. Because that Jesus took our sins upon Himself. Because that Jesus left his Holy Spirit with us. And now here we are, thousands of years later, cooking dinner for our picky children, running errands, going to work, and staying up too late, all with Jesus right beside us and within us. Emmanuel means God with us, even in the times when we are not aware of God. My pastor said that this reminder serves as a comfort and a conviction.
From the Christmas miracle to everyday miracles
How would our ordinary days take on a new level of meaning as we become conscious of God’s presence? Can we train our eyes to look for God in the everyday? Can we listen for God’s voice in our lives through all of our ordinary interactions with the people around us?
There may be no sparkly Christmas tree in the house anymore, no special playlist in the background. We wake up to a brand new year and yet we are our same old selves. May we carry the miracle of baby Jesus in our hearts anyway, treating each ordinary day as an opportunity to become aware of God’s presence WITH us.