Days pass when I forget the mystery.
Problems insoluble and problems offering
their own ignored solutions
jostle for my attention, they crowd its antechamber
along with a host of diversions, my courtiers, wearing
their colored clothes; cap and bells.
once more the quiet mystery
is present to me, the throng’s clamor
recedes: the mystery
that there is anything, anything at all,
let alone cosmos, joy, memory, everything,
rather than void: and that, O Lord,
Creator, Hallowed One, You still,
hour by hour sustain it.
Tonight our children will be at our house for a time of hall decking.
We will put on the must-haves: Julie Andrews and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Boxes will be hauled from the basement, ornaments created in kindergarten will be unwrapped, the unspeakably ugly elf will be placed on the top of the tree, and we will make the house ready for Christmas.
Truth be told, we have all been tempted to ditch the hassle, haven’t we? Some years it feels almost impossible to summon the energy to adorn anything. We can sometimes feel tired or overwhelmed and summoning the energy to festoon our homes feels like too much heart work to be borne. Fold in grief over losses and shifts in our hearts over the years, and inertia is understandable.
But sometimes going through the motions brings healing. We discover that while much in our lives has changed, some things remain constant: the wonder of Emmanuel, God With Us.
Jesus, born to make us free. Jesus, hope made flesh.
As you consider how it is you ready the home of your heart for this season, hold these questions:
What essential rituals help you to remember the power of the hope given in Jesus?
How will you deck the halls of your heart in order that hope and wonder might shine?
How will you remember the “Primary Wonder” of Emmanuel?