It is 8:45 AM and we have opened our presents. i sit in front of the Christmas tree while Chuck is making an omelet. I feel a sense of peace and deep joy.
There is always with me some part that is bittersweet at Christmas remember other Christmas mornings that are gone.
As a child I can still remember how extremely exciting Christmas morning was. There was great anticipation and wonder in the Gersen household. My parents did not put most of the Christmas presents under the tree until we four were in bed. In the morning we were not allowed to see the tree until after breakfast. And so the waiting during breakfast for mom and dad to finish their coffee and clean the kitchen was excruciating. and then that first glimpse of the tree! Our family took turns - youngest to oldest and the opening of presents was always an event. It was followed by trying on clothes and then playing the games that we had been given. Every Christmas we always received clothes, books and games. Always.
as a mother I tried to give my girls that same sense of anticipation and wonder and abundance. I always gave each of the girls 5 gifts to open - which included clothes, books and games. Then there were the years when they were teenagers and everybody slept in but me. Christmas morning I would be up early listening to Christmas music, drinking coffee and wrapping the last minutes gifts. So wonderful.
and now it is me and Chuck. Me up first to read the paper, drink coffee and at peace. Waiting for opening a couple of gifts and then church and then the family together.
But now I am more than ever happy for this day. And not just for family memories which are rich - but for the whole meaning of the coming of the light into that darkness.
Jesus, my Jesus. My whole life has been a proclamation of the MORE of a life of faith.
I remember being a young teenager and even then wanting to know what the purpose of life was. Was it enough to replicate yourself with children? Or to achieve with a career and creativity? These are all good and meaningful pursuits and they have made my life full.
But it has been my faith - my relationship with God - which has provided a foundation for a deeper meaning to my life. The spiritual path of seeking and being sought by the divine has given me hope in dark times, peace in the midst of turbulence and guidance in confusion. I keep learning that the way of forgiveness, humility and awareness brings fruit and peace.
So today we say - YES - Jesus came and comes again and because of that we can survive the worst of life: the grief that comes with loss, the betrayal of friends, and facing of our own weaknesses and mistakes.
But more important - because of that we can ourselves be people who seek the light and love every day. I can trust that wherever I am - "Immanuel" God is with me. God is present.
With me, Loving. Giving. Calling. Me. and YOU
Merry Christmas! Christ is Born again