I am wistful about taking down the Christmas tree and putting away decorations as the season concludes. I want to linger in its glow a while longer. I don't want Christmas to end, or at least for it to end abruptly, unceremoniously. As if someone somewhere decides, “well, enough of that!” and pulls the plug. Who dares to put away Christmas?
I always hope that Christmas will have changed me and, somehow, brought about change in the relationships and groups of which I am a part. I feel like I should not dare take a step beyond Christmas without hope having been heightened, faith having been extended, love having been broadened, peace having been deepened, and light having been intensified. It is not too late--though it be the twelfth day of Christmas--to receive Christmas grace.
The notion that things will soon be back to “normal” is scandalous in light of Christmas. Yes, children will be back in school. Festivities of the holidays are ending. Decorations are being packed away. But can anything ever be normal again since the Advent of the Child of Bethlehem? In the blunt words of a Flannery O’Connor character: “Jesus thrown everything off balance.” The upside down kingdom has begun. Rulers are being brought low; the proud scattered. The hungry shall be satisfied; the lowly lifted up. The Child causes “the rising and falling” of many.
And we thought things were about to settle down? Welcome the “new norm!”