Christmas will be here before we know it!
For me, ironically, that means I need to fight to keep my eyes on what really matters, on my faith. As I’ve discussed before, my inclination and temptation is to stress: How will I get everything done? What if this doesn’t go perfectly and I wreck the family holiday? I’ve also been struggling with recurring migraines lately, adding to my feelings of feeling weak, small, unready for such a big occasion.
But here’s the thing: Christmas is for the small, for the humble. That was what Mary couldn’t believe when the angel told her, what she later recounted with joy: that God was going to lift up those who could not lift themselves up, who were downtrodden and forgotten and unnoticed by the wider world.
Underneath all the shininess and the tinsel, underneath the prophecy and the stars and the angels, we’re talking about a tiny, unassuming child born in a barn. A mother staring at her firstborn son with bliss. Those holiest of moments, as quiet as a still small voice calling my name.
When I read the Christmas story again in Luke, I see small-town figures, people whose lives were not glorious and grand. A teenage mother. A shamed fiancée. A barren older woman. A humiliated temple servant.
All of them leading small lives wrapped up in the largest mystery.
As my friend Tonia says, it’s okay to be small. It’s good, in fact. Let’s own feeling small and weak and unready this Christmas, and allow the tiny miracle to infect our lives, just as it happened that very first time.