Trying to read with fresh eyes, I ponder the first stories told by Matthew and Luke. I see ordinary people doing ordinary things.
A priest performing his regular duties at the temple in Jerusalem.
His wife back in Judea keeping the home fires burning.
A young woman minding her own business while preparing for her pending nuptials.
A carpenter building a home to make ready for his bride.
A band of shepherds working the night shift, watching for predators of the smelly sheep in their charge, them just trying to stay awake.
The Magi, men whose assignment was to study the sky at evening’s blackness, hoping for some new discovery.
People doing everyday tasks, much like me.
But then their regular lives were touched by the holy. Angels appeared. Dreams intruded. A star blazed as a wondrous sign. Life is not normal anymore. Suddenly everything is changed.
There is holiness around us, trying to get our attention, inviting us to slow and see it. Holiness wanting to break in to the mundane so we can experience the extraordinary measure of grace.
The story of Christmas has a beauty all its own. It needs no trappings of glitter or gifts, no decked halls or tables laden with delicacies , no spinning activities or full-to-the-brim schedules.
The story of Christmas is the Holy come down to earth to be with the ordinary. The Holy made single-cell small in order to enter into my world. The Holy, whose glory cannot be contained in a thousand universes, putting on flesh to be swaddled and held by a mere human. The Holy initiating a tender and astounding love that can make all things new.
This is Christmas. May we look for the holy in each moment of it, experience it fresh, slow to hear angels sing.
Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. Luke 2:14