Friday, January 7, 2011
Christmastide: Epiphany to the Purification -- and New Year's Resolutions
So, the Kings have arrived in Bethlehem -- and, this year, without a lot of fuss and fanfare at our house. Some years Momma's on the ball and does the Epiphany party, the Magi bread, the decorations and coloring pages, etc. And some years Momma's not on the ball. Some years she is the ball.
Such is life.
And it's a reality of life that I've come to peace with over the years. I am not the third-person Momma, Superwoman, Get-It-All-Done Girl of myth and legend. I don't think anyone is, though sometimes I go through blogs and see the amazing projects hilighted there in technicolor high-gloss and think the Momma who posted them really is Superwoman. But then I remember that these Mommas post their best days and leave out their worst, just like I do. Mostly. And they go through phases just like I do. And some of them who really are SuperCraftMommas are not super cooks. And some who are SuperChefMommas are not very crafty. And some of them who seem to do it all only have one child. And maybe a maid. And some of you really are awesome Superchef, Supercrafter, Supermoms who make me sick. (Just kidding!)
But that's all beside the point. The point is that the Kings really did make it to Bethlehem. They arrived at our living room stable midmorning on the Epiphany when I scampered to boogy them over there when I thought the children weren't looking. And some two thousand odd years ago Gaspar, Melchior, and Baltazar arrived at the real stable in the real Bethlehem at the feet of the Divine Child. They come in their robes, with their entourages, to bow in the dirt and straw of a lowly cave to present the gifts they brought the newborn King, gifts from Kingly sources -- Gold, Frankinsence, and Myrrh -- all offerings full of symbolism and portent. But, the love and honor that came with them were the real gifts. Love and honor no better than the gifts of the shepherds -- which are recorded as nothing other than their presence at the stable under the star that first Christmas.
So, my Christmas was hectic, as I'm sure many people's was. And I fear that in all my running around I was not as present at the stable as I should have been. I was a bit distracted. But Christmas is not over. The Holy Family is still at the stable, though the Kings may have come and gone. And, in the calendar of the Church, we have untl February 2nd to officially celebrate the coming of our Saviour. A whole month into a brand new year and a good time to meditate, as we take down the wreaths and the tree and, bit by bit, pack away the Nativity Set. The outward symbols will be going into bins in our barn, but the meaning of the season doesn't have to be packed away with them.
It's never too late to visit with Jesus in the stable. It's not too late to bring Him our own gift. Our presence.
This is my New Year's resolution: to give Jesus that -- my presence.