When I am here, a few days past all the joys and wonder of Christmas, enjoying the warm glow of a now bare looking Christmas tree, I always tend to get a little sad. Something about the saying good-bye to another year makes me blue. I think of how my children will never be these particular ages again. I think of all of the build up, all of the work, and all of the careful, secret, whispered planning that went into another wonderful Christmas. It’s enough to make a mama get a little teary-eyed.
This year I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about sweet Mary, Jesus’ mother. I imagined the day that she received the incredible news from the angel. I pretended that I was there on that precious night, when the Word became flesh, when Jesus arrived in all his perfect, beautiful baby-ness. And, now that this season is coming to a close I can’t help but picture Mary, mother of God, in her first few days of what next. After all of that build up, all of the planning, all of the anticipation of her first-born son, she, like all of us, had to move past that amazing night and start day two. And, those moments in the manger were precious to this young mother, who treasured in her heart all that happened.
On the very first Christmas.
But, mothers don’t birth their little darlings and then wish for the time when they were pregnant, do they? They don’t long to relive the birth experience, however magical it may be. Mary brought Jesus into the world and she tucked away the memory of that glorious night, and then she looked forward to what would come next. She was excited about seeing what the next year would hold. She was already anticipating all of the firsts that she would get to experience.
She couldn’t wait to see what Jesus would do.
And, tonight, when so many sweet memories are being filed away in my own heart, I smile at the thought of the goodness that has passed. And I look forward to what God will do in the coming year. He is here, when the trees and the lights come down. God With Us is present tense poetry that speaks to our souls. Not God Was With Us or God Will Be With Us, but God With Us. Here, now, and always. Christmas reminds us of the sacrifice. It reminds us of the sweetness. And, when the Christmas season moves another eleven months away on the calendar, the God of the Universe doesn’t move an inch. He is here. He is alive. He is working.
So, like Mary hovered close to her new baby boy and her Savior, I pray that I will spend the next year drawing close to my Lord, looking expectantly for what He will do next. Emmanuel, every month, every season, and year after year. To Him be the glory forever.