the mess under tree is no longer there. the shreds of torn, once beautiful wrapping paper, discarded boxes are thrown in the trash, along with remnants of festive ribbons and crushed bows. the gifts given have gone home, as have the loved ones who came to share in the joy of Christmas.
looking around, my mind tries to go to the job of taking down the rooms full of decorations, but my heart says “it seems like Christmas came and went, too quick.” my eyes settle on the nativity sitting on the table. i love nativities and each year i look forward to putting out each and every one of them collected over the years.
as i handle the different pieces, special memories bring joy seeing each nativity as a part of the different seasons of my life. the nativity on the table has special meaning because it was a Christmas present from a son twelve years ago who knew how much his mom would appreciate such a thoughtful gift. so putting this nativity up this year brought me an emotional roller coaster.
today, looking at the different figures of this nativity brings a prayer of hope – Hope for a prodigal, Hope for those who hurt and grieve, Hope for those who are frustrated, Hope for those who despair, the Hope of eternal life. Hope.
a little one asks, “is Christmas over?” i know that feeling. i have asked that same question myself many times. but i can say to her, “no, Christmas is not over because Christ is always with us. because of that – we have Hope.
so this year, instead of carefully wrapping each piece of this special nativity and putting it all away – this year, i am going to keep Baby Jesus in the manger. the Christ child will be put in a special place to remind us each day of the loved one who is far away. a daily reminder that we have Hope because Christ is always with us, always close. and we continue to pray. and we continue to count all things for Joy.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13