When Christmas and Christmastide Collide

This week is the week where Christmas and Christmastide collide every year. For many who celebrate a cultural Christmas, this week is full of taking down decorations, reorganizing, and decluttering in order to get ready for the New Year. For me, this is the week for basking in the light of all five candles blazing: hope, peace, love, joy, and the Christ candle are lit; the Messiah has come. This is the week to just be in the presence of the miracle of the Divine incarnate. This is the week to be still and know that what we have experienced is not the end of the story because the Christ Child has been born.

This is the week where I see and feel the conflict most profoundly between our American culture of productivity, getting things done, and hustling and the peace of the Messiah’s coming. This is the Silent Night and yet we move right past as we check things off our to do list.

I haven’t felt this tension so much before, but in a year where everything has been different and everything has changed, this is the year I need the peace of the Divine incarnate more than ever. I need a chance to rest and be still and be here now. Even while I try, the hustling and sorting and decluttering bustles around.

Even in a year where so many things were canceled and so many plans were changed, we find ourselves staying busy. Even in a year where so many souls have been lost and so many families upended, we find ourselves trying to organize our lives into neat, labeled bins.

Because being here in the peace of the Divine incarnate here on earth and the grief, hunger, and desperation of so many of our neighbors is messy and difficult. As difficult as it is, this week I will try to resist the going and the doing and just be.