I took down the mistletoe today.
No more lurking in dark corners preying upon prepubescent boys to steal kisses. (I’m talking about my sons…Whom have YOU been kissing? Okay, so it was really more like a hug-tackle. Hey, they aren’t that big on snuggling anymore, who can blame a mom?)
We are there.
We have arrived at the stable. This Epiphany settles over me. God incarnate nestled in manger. He slid into our world through the door of a mother’s womb.
This wonder, this…epiphany…breaks me open, drives me to my knees.
I come with my meager gifts. When I left with them in hand I rejoiced to give gifts of such value. I felt pride at the worth in my hands. Now, standing here…I only feel my lack.
But somehow–when I stand before Him–all this melts away. My heart rejoices, despite my diminutive status. He came for me. I know this. I feel it in my marrow.
While I celebrate at this knowledge (Emmanuel! God with us!), my heart is heavy. For there is the return journey home. I must leave this humble place. I must turn my back on this holiness and step back into the every day.
That’s what boxing up Christmas feels like to me.
I gather all my splashes of red. I take down my nativity. But as I cradle Baby Jesus in my hand, heart skips a beat.
Will he not remain with me?
Isn’t this the gift of Epiphany? The gift of the Cross?
Sorrow spins again into joy. Love’s promise weaves this knowledge into my heart: He never leaves.
We choose some tangible reminders of this truth to remain tucked in our world. The heart remembers the weakness of the flesh–the sin of forgetting.
And as I gather the splashes of red, mind’s eye focuses on His presence.
And heart whispers Thank You. Thank you for Your Grace.