Christmas was in front of us.The celebration was near.
And our pastor spoke of going forward in faith – after Christmas.I wondered, as I sat in that sanctuary that was filled with the warm glow of candles and Christmas greens, joy and reverence and cheer and love, why he would speak of faith after Christmas.
We weren't even quite there.But today, I remembered our pastor’s message. As Lonny drove Logan back to Wheaton. As strings of lights were pulled from the house. As the Christmas cds were stacked in a box. As ornaments were lifted from still-reaching branches and I longed for sweet moments with family and friends.
I remembered…When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said of the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” Luke 2:21-24
After the birth of Jesus, after the manger and the angels and the shepherds, after the silent night and the stars, Mary went to the temple to present infant firstborn Jesus. And to offer a sacrifice for purification (after giving birth to a son a mother had to wait 40 days to do this). She put one foot in front of the other, took the next steps, and moved ahead.Mary went forward in faith.
After the birth of Jesus.After Christmas.
So today, as I prepare to return to real life, school books, chores, and schedules, as I miss the warmth and goodness and holiday cheer, as I close the door to Logan’s room and pray for him while he’s away, I’m grateful for that Christmas Eve message, for Mary’s example, and for the opportunity to lean into the LordAnd walk forward in faith.