Christmas past, Christmas present & Christmas future

I spent some time today re-reading old Christmas posts of mine.  They are some of my favorite things I have a ever written.

Maybe it’s the mental, emotional and physical space that I get around this time of year, or maybe it’s the rhythm of reflection that occurs, or maybe it’s the deep heartbeat of my soul that knows this day is mine, or maybe it’s just the way my life has aligned to make me always in recovery of some large life event at this time of year, but whatever the case – we do our best work at Christmas (He and I).

Christmas’ past have seen years of joy and years of pain; years of fear and years of hope pour out of me in equal measure.

What I know now as I sit here on this Christmas present – in some ways it feels like less than I have known before, and still at the same time it feels like so much more.  Oh, the twists I thought this road would take, and the ways I have been wrong.  The parts of Him I thought I knew back then, that I had really only heard about.  And the parts of Him I knew back then, that now I feel I have forgotten.

Have I forgotten?  The size of You? The scope of You?  As you’ve taught me the tenderness and nearness, have I forgotten what it feels like to know you hold all the cards.

But when I’m still, when I let the space and silence settle around me, I know the truth: my beloved is mine and I am His.  The fullness of us both, our glorious complexities belong to each other.  The parts of You that feel clearer and nearer to me this year, don’t make the other characteristics less real or less mine.

Looking at that manager now, knowing more of Him than I did once, feels like looking at baby pictures of my dearest friend and love, and, at the same time, it feels like looking at baby pictures of a Man I’m still sure I barely know.  We turn the pages of Christmas’ past – both His and mine and I think we are both struck at how deeply the present influences the way I perceive the past.

What I know now as I sit here on this Christmas present – in some ways it feels like the same thing I have always known: I am overwhelmed by a God who would become Man who would become a baby so that the defenselessness, the powerlessness, that cripples us humans would be an experience that He understood.  He became like us in every respect so that there would be an advocate even now, explaining to the Father how it feels to sit in the chair I sit in, and why I respond the way I do, and how terribly hard it is for my mortal mind to grasp the fullness of Him.

What do I want for Christmas future?  Heaven.  Which is nothing more than what I’ve had in Christmas’ past, just brought together at the same time.  The different elements and sides of Him I’ve seen all brought into glorious focus in one Man.  I want the bigness of you that I found in the chaos, and I want the tenderness of You I touched in the dark, and I want to see that they were both there that night when straw was used to wipe a refugee woman’s blood from the unimaginable glory of our God.  You have always been both with us and beyond us.  You have always been both knowable and unfathomable.  Always been terrifying and safer than any haven imaginable.

And you have always been mine.

Whether I see your fullness or not, your fullness has been given to me.

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