No doubt you are up early. Whether traveling or staying at home, you have things to do, groceries to buy, errands to run, work to finish.
You love the season of Advent leading up to Christmas day, but you are so weary. The living room is finally clean, but the last few nights you have collapsed into bed in the room that has slowly and insistently collected all the clutter from the rest of the house.
The expectations. The stuff. The marketing – at first it’s fun, but as you face yet another long line at a store, you wonder what this is all about. Where is the magic of your childhood? How do you create wonder for your little ones? How do you remember the clichéd “reason for the season?” Even the phrase makes you weary and, if you’re completely honest, angry. Who thought up that stupid phrase anyway?
Coupled with that is the exhaustion you feel with social media. Everyone’s trees are better than yours – you knew that you needed more lights. And every time you turn around someone posts a news article about a tragedy. Your emotions range from sadness to guilt that you whine about your seemingly small problems and post pictures of the cookies you just made. Guilt, sadness, exhaustion all lump together like the wrapping paper and ribbon on your bedroom floor.
You wander sleepily into the living room and plug in the long extension cord. Immediately white lights flood the room, sparkling off ornaments collected through the years. In all your weariness, there is still the wonder and joy of Christmas lights.
Amy Grant sings “Tender Tenessee Christmas” from an old CD and you take a minute, a minute to sit, to reflect, to be quiet.
Sometimes a minute is all it takes to remember. To remember that Jesus came for and to a weary world; a world weary of tragedy and loss; weary of natural disasters and wars. A world weary of the stress of living and the sadness of dying.
The music and words of “Oh Holy Night” begin to play:”A thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn…”
A minute and a thrill of hope – somehow that is enough. You sigh and head into the day. There may not be magic, but there will be wonder and there will be hope – all is not lost.
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Til He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O night divine!
O night when Christ was born