Saturday we went to the Innisfail Town Christmas tree lighting. A band was playing Christmas carols. Santa was there for the children. And the tree was really quite glorious. It is a tall fir tree that was planted by the cenotaph many years ago that was decorated for the occasion. It really got us into the Christmas spirit. So much so that we put up our tree last night. I know it is not advent or even December, but it just felt right to put up our tree.
In a way for us Christmas will come this week. After 4 months, our belongings from Australia arrive. We know some things that are in those boxes. Our albs and stoles are in the boxes. There are some books in the boxes. There is some kitchen stuff and our pictures in the boxes. And we have some clothes in the boxes- clothes that would not fit into our suitcases that we had when we arrived back in Canada.
We remember some of the things that we put into the boxes. For instance, my prize possession, my Vancouver Grizzlies leather jacket is coming. It is something that I look forward to wearing on milder winter days. However, other clothes that are in the boxes will be a surprise- I can't remember what clothes I put into the Neutral Bay clothing donation box and what I decided to keep. So the clothes I find in the boxes will be a surprise- I know there are some socks, and underwear, and shirts, and pants, and shoes, and sweaters but which ones are in the box, God only knows.
Isn't it the way with Christmas presents? Generally I know that the presents under neath the tree for me will be clothes of some sort. I may not know their colour or pattern, but as to what they exactly look like who knows. They might be blue or checked or made of wool or cotton. Who knows? God only knows.
Isn't it the same way with the meaning of Christmas. We know basically the Christmas story. A child is born. Shepherds come. The angels sing. We know basically that with the Christmas story, we are forever changed. However, I think that each year something strikes us new about the Christmas story. If we allow it to, maybe the songs of angels, or the adoration of the shepherds, the love of Mary, the hospitality of the animals in the stable might speak to us in a new way refreshing the message that God is here. Blessings