When I arrived home yesterday evening, there was a stack of mail on the table. I thumbed through it and saw a bright red envelope that was addressed to me. I pulled it out and after opening the envelope, I gently pulled out the card with a beautiful sparkly Bethlehem scene on the front. It had the manger with Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus as well as the three visiting wise men standing nearby. The artist had depicted detailed expressions on all their faces of serenity and joy that caught my attention. It was in contrast to the homes in the background which were filled with people and activity. The glittery star was over the manger in the top right hand corner of the picture.
I opened the card to find a handwritten note to me. It said, “Elaine, I want you to know I am here. I see how all the squares on your calendar for this month are full. I know there are activities, events, and gatherings that fill your days. There are people and gifts that fill your to-do lists. As you go about, the parking lots are full, the stores are full and activity is everywhere. When you retire for the evenings, your mind is full of food to cook, gifts to make, decorations to prepare and long distance friends and relatives you want to contact. The remaining three weekends will be full of parties, shopping and football. It will all come and go very quickly.”
I stopped reading and flipped back to the picture on the front of the card. I could see myself in the scene somehow . . . I was in the background with all the activity while a powerful moment was happening and I wasn’t paying attention. There was no room in the inn. Hmm.
I opened up the card and continued reading, “Elaine, I want to remind you to look up. Be like the wise men in the narrative: ‘. . . they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!’ (Matthew 2.9-10) You are being filled with so many things of which the outcome more often than not – is stress. Follow the star this season and be filled with joy. Let the expression on your face be that of serenity, joy and peace. Then come worship me. If you are still, and you listen carefully, you may hear the angels singing: Joy to The World the Lord is Come! Elaine, I am here.”
I closed the card and put it up on the mantel. I walked away humming “Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare him room. . .” My heart felt full. I hope you receive your card today. A blessed Christmas to you all.