I’m not ready for Christmas this year. The gifts are purchased—OK, all but one—I gave up on cards long ago, and I have plenty of time to pack. But I spent more time the last few weeks focused on getting things done than on pondering the reality of God with us.
Here’s the thing, though—Christmas will happen anyway. The birth of love in our hearts is ongoing whether we’re paying attention or not.
Maybe we make it more complicated than it needs to be, maybe we needlessly separate—I certainly do—things that are and aren’t preparation for Christ, the presence of God, of the holy, in our midst. Every time we smile at someone in line at the store or let someone who’s exuding stress go ahead of us, we welcome love. Every time we wonder which gift would bring the most joy to a friend or bake cookies for our neighbors, we bring love to life.
Perhaps if we simply pay more attention to the things we are already doing, we will unfold into our own true love nature, as a flower unfurls from a bud. A rose doesn’t bloom from an oak tree—a flower can only come from the plant it already is. And so with love—we are already doing it; we already are it. In it we live and move and have our being.
That’s not to say that we don’t need times of quiet prayer or meditation—they help us open our eyes to what is already within and among us. It’s there in the grocery store and on the beach every bit as much as it is in church. It’s there when we forget or are distracted. It is love, divinity, or whatever you call that connection, that oneness for which you most long, and it is now and continually born in our souls. Now that is indeed reason to be merry.
Wishing everyone a joyful celebration of whichever holidays are closest to your hearts this time of year.
Note: I will be on vacation for the next two weeks as, most likely, will this blog.