Wednesday, December 24, 2014

keep your eyes on the Baby

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing,
as they rejoice before you as at the harvest,
as people make merry when dividing spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them,
the pole on their shoulder,
and the rod of their taskmaster
you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.
For every boot that tramped in battle,
every cloak rolled in blood,
will be burned as fuel for flames.
For a child is born to us, a son is given us;
upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,
Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.
His dominion is vast
and forever peaceful,
from David’s throne, and over his kingdom,
which he confirms and sustains
by judgment and justice,
both now and forever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!
~Isaiah 9:1-6, 
first reading at Christmas Midnight Mass

As Advent 2014 comes to a close, our family will gather to celebrate the birth of the Child -- the Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace!

But this year, we will not do this together

Some of our family members are in London, some in Tulsa, some in Oklahoma City. So when my brother and Mami arrive, five of us will gather at our table for a Nochebuena dinner here in Norman.
As Michael pointed out to me today, this will be our smallest Christmas setting in our (almost) 33 years of marriage!

Honestly, I am not complaining. I know just how spoiled I am every time we fill up a pew at church with just our family! And I know and truly believe that everyone is where they should be this Christmas. I feel deeply grateful for the meal we're about to share, the family that will be here at this table, and for the Midnight Mass that will follow.

I am also conscious that change continues to define my "new normal." Shoot. It's my only "normal"!

All I know to do is to go back to the basics, and today that means to go to the manger, keep my eyes on the Baby, sit with the newborn King of Kings. 

May we make our hearts a pesebre, a manger, for the Prince of Peace.

I have three new Nativities this year... and two of them are gifts
 from my generous father in law--this one from Haiti. And the one below,
a hipped Joseph! Isn't he great?

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