...and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well....
There have been days - entire seasons, even - when I've thought I knew how to keep Christmas well. I've devoted myself to study the Incarnation, lit the Advent candles every night, listened to "O Holy Night" more than "Santa, Baby" and not gotten caught up in the hustle & bustle that December brings. Then there have been days - entire seasons, even - when the opposite has been true. I've been Lucy instead of Linus, making Christmas a production and forgetting that behind all that's shiny and bright lies a babe nestled in stiff straw surrounded by dirty animals and the lowliest of men. I have utterly failed at keeping Christmas well.
At the beginning of this Christmas season, I found myself somewhere in between. Then I read this excerpt that my fellow ordinary theologian Lisa shared at her blog. It has stuck with me ever since.
"In all the days when I’m filled with despair because of my sin, and when I can’t find God if my life depended on it; when I give up in fear, doubt, guilt, and despair, I have his righteousness–a righteousness that was lived out for me, on my behalf, and upon which I can rest. Oh, thank you, glorious God. Having loved us, he loved us to the end."
We often fail, and that's exactly why Christmas is so wonderful! Because of Christmas itself, there is grace when we do not keep Christmas well. Amazing grace, indeed!
As we close out 2013 and begin a new year, may we be filled with wonder at such marvelous grace and be ever grateful for it.