Happy Christmas Eve Eve Eve
It’s three days before Christmas. Ron and I awoke to a gorgeous morning. A moon in the blue sky. Lots of snow. Pine trees with icy needles the color of wintergreen. This is our first Christmas at the Colorado cabin. My brother and parents are with us. We put up the tree and strung the lights, built a fire in the wood stove, bought a turkey for Christmas day, and ate hot bowls of chili around the table. I’m happy and grateful. But I also know that Christmas isn’t about gifts under the tree, or starry nights in a quiet wilderness. It’s not even about creating family memories. Still I wonder: What is it about? The truth is, I have a long way to go in understanding the meaning of Christmas. I marvel at the words the angel said to the shepherds: “Today in the City of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” One neat thing Ron and I saw on our trip to Israel was a first century manger. It doesn’t look like the mangers in nativity scenes. It was made of stone, not wood. It helped me see the Christmas story in a clearer light. Jesus was born, wrapped in cloths, and laid in a manger. Years later, Jesus died, was wrapped in a linen cloth, and laid in a stone tomb. Three days after that, only the linen wrapping remained in the tomb. Like that linen, I continue to unwrap the Christmas story, reading it and taking it in over and over again.