This has been a busy Christmas, and as usual, it has been in the days after that I've been able to spend some quality time with my kids, and my husband, just playing games, wrestling, dancing to the Jonas Brothers (Kid music that rocks! says Mary) and rocking my baby without feeling compelled to rush everything because there is too much to do.
After the kids were asleep tonight, I sat with some chocolate-covered Peppermint Joe-Joe's and a glass of wine and spent some quality time on the blogosphere. And it was while reading at Rocks in my Dryer that I think I finally had a moment to contemplate on Christmas. This post, Grace in a Manger, is an old one, from her archives while she takes a holiday break. I've got to share it, because it's sure to make you stop and think.
Christmas, I thought, was the cheery holiday that evoked images of a sweet baby Jesus, a manger full of fresh-smelling hay, joyful shepherds, a glorious star and a partridge in a pear tree.
The real theological meat was diced at Easter, I believed. Easter was about blood, death, and victory won only through the harshest pain. Easter was about sanctification and propitiation and all those other "-ation" words that my pastor is supposed to explain to me.And so, in my simple little head, Christmas was happy, Easter was hard.
At Christmas, we could just sit back and not think too hard, sip our egg nog, and gaze at our happy little nativity scene in which Mary looks all clean and regal, not like a scared young teenager who just went through labor next to a cow.
It's easy to not think too hard about Mary, baby Jesus, and the manger. Even for those of us who go to church, and who teach our kids about the nativity, and who sing Silent Night. But thinking about Mary, in the hay, giving birth to a Savior . . . well, I am contemplating that tonight.