A Holy Moment

I don’t think it’s what most people dream of, but being alone on Christmas morning feels sort of sacred.

In the near silence, I feel better and think better. I love being around people, but I treasure these quiet morning moments alone. Or, perhaps not alone, but spent drinking in the holiness of God along with my coffee.

It’s still and quiet, save for the birds chirping, the occasional windy gust, and a few stray vehicles wending their way down the street.

Small pleasures abound: the dark coffee I inhale, a flickering, leaning candle, and the couch threatening to swallow me in its plushness. The crowning glory is the lit Christmas tree. It’s a fake one, a little scraggly with gaps here and there, and there are no presents beneath it. That doesn’t matter.

This is the marvel of Christmas: sitting alone in this humble house, I experience God’s perfection in a holy moment. This is where God is most present, most obvious: in imperfection.

Jesus Christ is the God of the great reversal. What king comes into the world, born into poverty in a barn, living a working class, nomadic existence, eschewing material possessions, befriending prostitutes, tax collectors, the weak and poor, only to die powerless? It is opposite our beliefs and expectations of what power and glory should look like. And yet, Christ is Lord of the unexpected.

That is where I find him this morning: alone on Christmas, reading the birth story of Christ. Tears stream down my face for the first time in months, as I experience the joy and peace and awe accompanying Christ’s arrival on earth.

I hope you experience joy and peace this Christmas, too. I hope you remember that whatever your Christmas looks like, there are holy moments waiting for you to stumble across them.

“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death and to guide us to the path of peace.”

Luke 1:78-79