Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A trick of the light.

Best friends and their families sharing an early Christmas dinner.

It was a joyous and peaceful 'no present' Christmas. Like many I am mindful that it was not the case for all, and I also know that I am not immune to family or financial issues, to grief and loss. This Christmas was good to me and for that I am grateful.

We had an early Christmas dinner with my best friend a couple of nights before Christmas, then a lovely labyrinth walk and 11pm service at our church on Christmas Eve, and a casual bring and share lunch in our home on Christmas day - with my side of the family, and a friend who was going to be alone.

When I said a blessing over our food I reflected on Jesus being born into a family and how significant that is because people need to be in relationship with others, and how it is said that God sets the lonely in families. And we prayed for those alone that day - when being alone feels lonelier somehow than on regular days. And we thanked him for our family.

That lovely Christmas day I often found my mind wondering to the sadness in this world, and oddly my train of thought led me to a happy place where the Spirit of Christmas lives - it is always there, in some small way. At Christmas time we are often-times more tolerant and compassionate. We may look for opportunities to bring peace into the world by our thoughts, as well as our actions. We may be kinder than we need to be. And everything looks prettier.

Christmas has this strange affect on us. It is like a trick of the light... we think we see something but we aren't sure... we can see a goodness, a light that shines back at us through a foggy mirror. Sometimes we think it is because the shop windows are decorated, the excitement of a young child, a Christmas concert, a carol, a movie, or a gift we've received or been given (and of course in some ways it may be.) Sometimes it is only a faint niggling because we haven't allowed ourselves time to reflect - or those dazzling Christmas tree lights are blinding us.

But what if ( how I love 'what ifs'), what if it is Christ's humble light we are seeing? And what if it quietly begs a response that goes beyond the season? What would the world look like if we stripped away the commercialism and everyday was Christmas? It is time to look forward to a new year. I think a philosophy of 'everyday Christmas' is worth pondering.

Peace and all good dear friends and new friends to be,

Asta x

PS I have a new support group for simple livers at Facebook. Here is the link:

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