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The Dying Light of the Christmas Tree

The Dying Light of the Christmas Tree

The time between Christmas and New Year’s has always been a special one for me.

For weeks leading up to the Christmas holiday, there’s a crescendo of activity: gift-buying, travel preparations, visits with loved ones, and candlelight services. Life fills to bursting.

And then, suddenly, nothing.  The last week of the year is made up of empty space. Where noise had been building, now there is silence.

There’s a deep breath that lies between one year and the next. It’s an annual Sabbath, a long rest in the midst of an otherwise crowded piece of music. It is a week to bask in the dying light of the Christmas tree, contemplating what has been and what is to come.

This season is one of those thin places, a time when God’s presence is more readily felt. It is an opportunity to open your heart to the Spirit’s movement in your life, to prepare yourself for the year ahead. You can experience an invitation to take an honest look at your life: Am I living faithfully? How am I being called to change?

It’s easy to miss the magic of this time of year. We’re often tempted (or required) to jump right back into the churn of everyday life – work, family, and social events. The week between Christmas and New Year’s can become little more than a chance to play catch-up between celebrations. But if we are attentive to the possibility of this season, it can be so much more.

Whether or not you are a long practitioner of year-end reflection and prayer, I’d like to invite you to join me this year. Take some time to slow down and listen. In this special season of darkness and silence, what are you hearing? How is the Spirit moving in your heart? Where would Jesus like to lead you in the days ahead?

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