Joy, of course, is often the accumulation of the inconsequential, bubbling up through the ordinary. But at Christmas, when we celebrate the extraordinary, simple things have even more significance.
The scent of pine, the twinkling of lights, the taste of ginger snaps—everything carries memories. And longing. We were at our oldest son’s house in Seattle and our oldest grand daughter lit the first advent candle. We were in our living room last Sunday night when our youngest son lit the last one. Every Christmas, it turns out, is Christmas past.
The darkness comes sooner and stays longer, but the light that matters is inside. Inside us. Joy itself is like that—a quiet accumulation of promises kept and delights anticipated.
Even loss or loneliness are set against the expectation that there is a way things should be. This is the Christmas story after all— peace on earth and goodwill to those on whom God’s favor rests.
The winter will end. The darkness will recede. Everything will be as it should be. Every celebration points to this day and every disappointment does too. we will hear chimes all around us. We will be alive to the texture and color and scent of all creation. The angels will rejoice again.
And God will reign.