It's this time of year when we, or at least I, realize how far apart we've drifted from those we consider friends. I become a little more Charlie Brown-ish than usual as I check the mail box daily, hoping for a Christmas card that never comes. A sign that I haven't been forgotten.
Some people become disappointed around Christmas because they plan so many activities that never come to fruition. I disappoint myself by wanting, not activities but, experiences that are just not to be. I want so much for that holiday party with friends. Where we laugh, sing and enjoy each other. But how can you expect such an experience when you haven't even spoken to those same people for more than five words or an email in over a year. This year even the annual tour of Christmas lights in random neighborhoods where we can never hope to live... will probably go by the way-side.
I have to say that I have one shining light this season that has seems to keep my eyes just above the murk. It's a word that, even in Christianity, we tend not to use too often any more. It was used last weekend by Terry Scott Taylor at the amazing Lost Dogs concert we attended. The word is, "incarnation."
Christmas, more than anything, is about the incarnation of God in the flesh of man. It's about God wanting so much to have a legitimate and rekindled relationship with us that he took on the burdens, the flesh, the foibles, the vulnerability, and the desperation of human flesh. And it doesn't matter, not to me, that he wasn't actually born this time of year. Or that the early church, in all it's wisdom, simply chose this time to usurp another celebration and drag others into the fold. What matters to me is that this is the time of year I choose to celebrate a God who was willing to feel the things I feel and face the things I face, many even worse, just so I could get to know him. Just to repair a broken bridge that he, himself, didn't even break.
So this Christmas, as everything else, and everyone, seems to slip from my grasp and my life (boy howdy is this a run-on sentence) I will continue to try and focus on the "incarnation" that began my journey and, someday, will take me home.
Oh, and here's last years Christmas photo. We didn't get around to taking one this year.