Monday, December 26, 2011

Only the Beginning

My favorite part of Christmas is the afterglow.

I know folks who are anxious to take down their tree and put all the decorations away as soon as the last gift is unwrapped.   I prefer to linger among the ornaments and manger scenes as long as I can.  Once the hurry and scurry of the season are gone I often find myself sitting quietly with a cup of coffee and a leftover Christmas morsel in the glow of twinkle lights on a tree, listening to the familiar and beloved hymns of adoration. 

I pick up a treasured choir child figurine that belonged to my Grandmother.  She has rhinestone eyes, a perfectly shaped ‘oh’ mouth and a head that was glued back on 50 years ago. I cherish that figurine and the memories of Christmas cookies at Neenie’s table.

My eyes fall on the various ornaments that my children, stepchildren and grandchildren made and I stop to pray for them, asking God’s blessings upon them. 

I see a stray piece of wrapping paper that has not yet made it to the trash, and I am thankful for our abundance and the many gifts we receive that are not wrapped prettily with paper and ribbon. The intangible things of our lives.

I hold cards from friends and family who are scattered far and wide and I am in awe of such a wide range of people who are part of our lives. 

All these things and many more catch my attention.  But the one thing that I come back to again and again is the manger with the Babe of Bethlehem.  Placed intentionally where the shadow of a cross falls across it.  To remind me that the joy of His birth is only the beginning.  Lent is just around the corner…and Easter is coming!

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