Driving through the dark and in the wildly falling snow can be both terrifying, exhilarating, and breathtaking all at the same time. I know, because I did it again just last night. You’ve probably had to do it more than a few times yourself.
And like me you’ve probably been struck by how it can be so beautiful and so nerve-wracking at the same time. The flakes so big and bright, falling in gentle sheets that seem to wrap the whole world in a fuzzy white blanket. It takes your breath away. And a part of you could just sit and watch it for hours, reveling in the quiet spectacle.
But you can’t because you’re in your car, and you have to get home where everyone is waiting for you. And the road is quickly disappearing before your eyes so you are not entirely sure where you should be headed. And the other motorists are beginning to panic … Some basically shut down backing up traffic way behind them while others get frustrated and barrel through where calmer heads might think twice.
Sounds a bit like the holidays doesn’t it? Terrifying, breathtaking, exhilarating. The flurry of activities, and programs, and visiting and good cheer, and food, and plans, and decorations, and shopping, and cleaning, and gift-giving. And while, under certain circumstances, it might actually be kind of pretty, it often is lost on many people. Some will simply race through it with a sense of ever-building panic that they will lose their way. Others will panic at the thought and shut themselves down – shut themselves out. Others will become frustrated with the whole mess and bluster their way through, no matter who gets hurt along the way.
So how do we Christians get through the holidays? By remembering that the worst storms of this dark night, become the winter wonderland of tomorrow morning. By slowing down and allowing our breath to be taken away by the little moments of beauty in all that lies ahead. By letting the Lord lead us, by whatever kind of road He chooses, to stable and the manger and the love of the Lord God Almighty Creator of heaven and earth writ in flesh and blood. Held in tiny infant arms. Gently blanketed in swaddling cloths and hand delivered to you and your loved ones.
And lights triumphant breaks
When beauty gilds the eastern hills
And life to joy awakes.
The King shall come when morning dawn
And light and beauty brings.
Hail, Christ the Lord! Your people pray:
Come quickly, King of kings!