For several years I lived next door to a friend who found great satisfaction in removing all Christmas décor and returning the house to order by the end of Christmas Day. The symbol of success? The tree, relieved of light and all ornament, parked at street side by nightfall. Christmas had come and gone.
Another friend sees Christmas as a season - beginning on December 25 and spanning 12 days - that invites us to live all our days in the profound awareness of God-with-us always. The chosen symbol of this perspective? A beautiful woodcarving of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, kept visibly present year ‘round.
Different folks . . . different perspectives . . . different behaviors . . . with profound implications. Why? Because our perspectives influence the living of our days. If Christmas is a single day on the calendar, it can be anticipated (only 364 days ‘til Christmas!), celebrated, and put away. Contained. Controlled. Tamed. But when viewed as an unfolding journey into the truth of God-with-us, Christmas shows itself for what it truly is: The wild and uncontainable love of God that has as its goal the transformation of everything from the inside, out.
I invite you into Christmas as journey, rather than destination. I encourage you to view the whole of your life as an unfolding journey with God, who is with you always. And may God -- who is light and life and love -- be incarnated in each of us this season and beyond - for the sake of the world God so loves.