The Light still shines

An Advent wreath deconstructed for storage… candles, wreath and lights.
Putting way our Advent wreath and candles

This weekend we started “putting away Christmas” which is one of my least favorite tasks. Due to my chemo and general exhaustion, we decorated in a “Christmas Lite” sort of way. I managed to put up stockings, place the crèche and Advent wreath, and get lights outside. But a lot of the trimmings, including putting up the tree, just didn’t happen. Christmas cookies didn’t get baked. Cards didn’t get sent. And it was still a beautiful, meaningful season.

We found storage boxes, traded out the Christmas bows and wreaths, and stashed the lights back in their boxes. Except for a small pile in the kitchen, most everything has been put away. (I’ll admit I cheated a little. I left the lights on the bush near our driveway, but unplugged them. They are mostly invisible to the casual observer… I’ll take them down when it is warmer than 20 degrees outside!)

As I looked at the small pile of things to put away, a scripture came to mind:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it. (John 1, NRSV)

The Light still shines… The God who came to live among us is still here…. As I pondered these words, Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman’s poem continued to bless and challenge me…

The Work of Christmas

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among others,
To make music in the heart.

In my moroseness over “putting away Christmas” I acknowledged I was not putting away Christ. I was stuck on the visible reminders of the Word made flesh, the Light of the world, the Hope of the nations. The Eternal One still waits to illuminate, to inspire, to challenge me to be a Light. And to keep walking in that Light.

There’s so much left to do, friends…

One of our crèches – from Kenyan and Israeli artisans

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