Do you ever feel like time moves differently around the holidays? Maybe it feels like it moves way too fast, and Thanksgiving flies by and then Christmas shows up unannounced before you’re ready for it. Or maybe it feels like things are moving in slow motion. You may dread the sadness the holidays can dredge up and it feels like they will never end. Or you’re soaking up the beauty and wonder of the season and enjoying the quiet air winter brings, which makes life slow down quite a bit.
Whether time moves more slowly or more rapidly, it does seem that these high points in our lives – where we take great pains to be kind and make time for our families, where we worship more frequently and share with our faith communities – it seems like these special events have a way of changing time for us.
The time we are in now is Christmas time, and it most definitely changed the world and how we perceive all time. Karoline M. Lewis, a professor at Luther Seminary, wrote:
Our time is oriented by God’s time – always has been and always will be. God entered into our time, forever changing it. God lived time with us, forever altering what time really means. Ultimately, God’s entering into time disrupts time, displaces time, disorients time. Not always comfortably. Not always helpfully. Not always desirable. And never how or when expectable. Why? Because divinity took on mortality, eternity entered temporality, and love eliminated death.
Entering our midst two thousand years ago, God’s incarnation on earth, Jesus Christ, changed all we know about time. Calendars changed, time became oriented around this One who appeared and brought a message of hope, peace, joy, and love. Just like so many moments where God has shown up among God’s people – from Abraham to Moses to the prophets – Jesus came unexpectedly, in an unexpected way, and changed us, changed time.
So, what is Christmas time?
It’s time spent lifting up the brokenhearted.
It’s time that takes seriously the plight of the poor.
It’s time to learn to love one another as deeply as God loves us.
It’s time that allows us to feel hope again.
It’s time that teaches us to be peacemakers.
It’s time that leads us to deep joy.
As we count hours this season, I hope Christmas time is the beat to which we march, the quiet tick of our souls, the ultimate change in our very being, as we navigate the holidays…and all our days.
Merry Christmas…time, dear friends!