For years I’ve arranged my schedule to take a break between Christmas and New Year’s. It started when my kids were young and I tried to coordinate time off from my job in an office with their school breaks. Later I ran a full-time free lance business for a few years and I still shut down. The kids were older and didn’t require looking after, but the downtime was nice. Now my kids are adults and I’m employed again but working from home, in addition to writing books, so I really need the break!
I almost always over-schedule. It turns out I’m not that great at breaks!
This year I kept my expectations reasonable. I did some writing, but I didn’t go crazy. I did some sorting and decluttering, but only in my office. I took some Zoom exercise classes and some neighborhood walks with my son. I did not set my alarm and was surprised by how much I craved sleep. Our Christmas gathering was just the three of us in this household, so we treated ourselves to a curbside meal from a favorite restaurant. Thanks to Lutheran Public Radio, we had a steady stream of sacred choral Christmas music going.
And in my church’s recorded service, I got to hear my favorite Bible passage, which comes around every Christmas Day and every Second Sunday of Christmas: John 1:1–14, ending with these wondrous words:
And the Word became flesh
and lived among us,
and we have seen his glory,
the glory as of a father’s only son,
full of grace and truth.
As we finished out 2020 and begin 2021, these words are words or promise. There is no question that 2020 was a rough year, and 2021 is not “miraculously” better, but we see some light through the tunnel. Whether in darkness or light, the Word who entered our human existence still reveals God’s glory to us. Perhaps this yearly transition is an especially good time to remember that we are not alone. We are not abandoned. We are not in darkness. The incarnation of Jesus lights our way with the glory of God. Grace and truth fill our lives.
Let’s live in the light even as some of the hard stuff of 2020 follows us into 2021. Grace and peace to you.