I’m sitting in the glow of the light of the Christmas tree at 4:30 a.m. because I can’t shut off my mind. I wish it was visions of sugarplums dancing in my head, but it’s more like: Who do I still need to shop for? How am I going to coordinate the comings and goings to concerts, plays, parties and the like? Are there any closets I can still cram with stuff during pre-party and surprise-visit clean-ups? And when will I have time to write inspiring, life-changing sermons that will turn people from their “holiday madness ways” to living out the true meaning of Christmas?
Yet here…in the glow of the tree…all is calm…all is bright. Sort of like a Christmas Sabbath because I am relaxed. I feel at peace, and as I look at the ornaments that have been collected through the years, I feel…grateful.
I am grateful for my daughters’ health as their faces smile back from the middle of star-shaped foam ornaments. I am grateful for friends whom God has brought into my life. Several are no longer near, but their memory and their ornament are close by. I am grateful for the teacher who 32 years ago made her class make a glass ornament where my husband’s little bowl-cut head is still grinning, and I am reminded of how he makes my life easier and more fun. I also see a couple of “tacky yet tasteful” ornaments I have collected from one of our church’s annual Christmas parties. Lord, are they ever tacky! But, they remind me of how blessed I am to be ministering alongside a crew that seeks to be faithful and has a great sense of humor.
And then there are the countless nativities that we’ve collected and have been given…I am grateful for Jesus. I’m grateful for the hope his coming brings.
The sun is beginning to rise, and I am reminded, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined” (Isaiah 9:2).
Thank you, Lord, for a love so big it has gone ahead of us from the beginning of time. Help us to be grateful. Help us to be joyful. Help us to make good choices about what is of worth this holiday season. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
LOLIMARTA ROS REITER, or as most of her friends know her, Loli, ministers alongside the fine folks at The Presbyterian Church of Seffner outside of Tampa, FL. She was born in Puerto Rico but has lived on the mainland since she was 9. Her daughter Isabel (9 years old) wants you to know her mom is funny; Olivia (6 years old) wants you to know she likes to talk about God…a lot; and John, her husband, wants you to know that she is the best wife, ever…Such a smart man! She looks forward to being in cyber-community with you.