Reflection 010

A very, merry Christmas has happened here at the #hallhomestead in Mississippi. I hope that, wherever you are and with whomever, the same has been true for you.

Last night, after wrapping presents and almost “hitting the hay,” I found myself pow-wow’ing with my little sister. It’s been a good while since we last “chatted about life,” and it was real, real good. We laughed a lot and jumped from topic to topic; but mostly, we were talking about all that’s happened in our lives from last Christmas until now. We both had a good bit to share.

It actually reminded me of a little family sharing “exercise” we did last Christmas, going one by one to share “highs and lows” of 2017. In the most refreshing way, it was a pretty raw conversation, which my family doesn’t always have the time or space to do (because we live so spread apart).

At that time, I shared something like, “Well, this year (2017), I lost. I lost professionally, personally and physically (sharing more detail than just a that string of words), but God sustained me. He sustained me because of your love and the care of many folks in New York.” I think my parents knew a good bit, but I’m not sure I’d really gotten to share that openly with my siblings.

Flash forward to last night’s conversation with my sister. We mostly discussed her 2018 changes (college graduation, etc.); but I was also reflecting on what’s been happening for/to/with me in 2018, in light of what I’d shared with them last year.

Ultimately, it all points me to Jesus. It brings about a new celebratory (and less routine) attitude to Christmas and to the love that comes with these season—love from Jesus and because of Jesus in others.

A lot can happen in twelve months; so much that it can be hard to believe that all of it actually happened in one year. But it happens. Life—its good, bad and ugly—happens.

And in the good and the not so good of those happenings, Jesus is near. So, as we close the curtain on this year’s December 25, may we rejoice. May we rejoice because Jesus is near on every day, not just this one day. May we also share that rejoicing with others, who may not yet know it or may need to be reminded of it.

The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

— Zephaniah 3:17