This week has been weird. After weeks and weeks of wind up and anticipation, you wake up one morning and there's holiday carnage everywhere, but the celebration is over. All that's left is a gigantic mess left to address and this weird feeling in your heart of “now what?” According to every email that's come in my inbox and almost every social media post that's run through my varying feeds, the now what should be full of putting everything away, getting organized, quitting all my vices, getting my life in general in check. Oh, and don't forget the resolutions, nay, goal setting, and reflective processing.
In the weird, my head has attempted to make some sense of all this. Its not that those things are bad, I know that they have a positive place and the calendar lends us this space for a reason... I just think for me, I got so immersed in the manger, I've struggled to leave. But that's the thing, we have to, because at some point, they did too. At some point, after all the shepherds visiting, the heart pondering, the tiny newborn King and his parents had to get up and move on from that Holy scene. They had to get about the business of living on the other side of Christmas.
We really know next to nothing about what happened next for them. There were logistics to be managed, I'm sure. According to Luke 2: 21-40, we know they had Jesus circumcised in accordance to Jewish custom on the 8th day, He officially received the Name that is above all Names, Jesus. However, the first 7 days of Jesus' life on Earth go by unrecorded. I wonder if it was made up of a lot of clean up and strategizing. I mean, for the love, Mary and Joseph still needed to get married! And bless her heart, she had some recovering to do, and preferably not among the animals, who probably wanted their food trough back. Who knows if they had been able to be counted in the census yet, the very reason for the trip to Bethlehem in the first place. They needed a place to go. They had things to attend to. They were the caretakers of the Messiah.
In that very first “now what” after Christmas, there was a lot to do, and there was a lot to think and pray on. Jesus' birth changed everything, but there was still life to live. His life, for that matter. Its hard to believe that the Son of Man's life was made up of days of mundane, but for Him to be truly human, that has to be true. Days that would fill up the pages of scripture and shift the heavenlies were lived amongst days of everyday traditions, ordinary decisions, and unremarkable moments of people trying to take their next right step. Maybe that's why the calendar gives us this weird week from glory to glory, the glory of His birth to the glory of His naming, to take stock of what needs to be done. I do think our culture has gone to a bit of an extreme with this, but as for me, I think following this family out of the silent night and into the days ahead, makes me feel a little more normal, and honestly, a little more hopeful. In the middle of them finding their next steps, there was infectious glory to behold:
As you walk through the weird in front of you, no matter how you choose to engage it, I pray that the glory of the Lord is revealed to you there.
Happy New Year, y'all.