“Christmas is over, Momo!” My youngest Grand shouted in response to my wish to watch a Christmas movie on December 30th, which is the sixth day of Christmas in the Episcopal church. But not to my Grand, Poco. To her anything Christmassy ended December 25th at the stroke of midnight or bedtime, whichever came first.
Not for me. I want Christmas to linger and I need to know somehow God still breaks into life’s horrors or humdrum with angels shouting, singing or whispering, “Fear not. I bring Good News.” Especially on this first day of 2022, when headlines look too familiar and hope needs a booster shot.
So where’s an angel when you need one? Well, this morning Dean Robert reminded the Garden Congregation in Morning prayers, the angels in Luke 2 withdrew to heaven. Mission accomplished. Shepherds headed to Bethlehem, while God’s Glory slept soundly in a feeding trough.
But Dean Robert also reminded us that angels are God’s messengers. Well, if that’s so, then they can come out of nowhere, through unlikely people. That’s not a knock against the ones artists paint nor nativity scenes depict or Christmas carols herald. Rather, encouragement to stop looking for wings and halos. And instead, look around, maybe within.
Take the shepherds, for example. One minute they’re startled by angels, the next they’re it. It? Yes, they’re the angels, God’s messengers, unlikely spreaders of good news. Where? Back to their fields, where they lived and worked. Which is the same for us and any Good News we’ve sung or sensed during this Christmas season. We’re it. It’s our turn to share but not from some lofty perch. We’re angels in disguise. Dispensers of God’s goodness and grace where we live amidst darkness, doubt, and daily dreads.
So on this first day of 2022, think back, remember. Now, thank some angel who lessened your fears or brought good news during this past year. Then, join me, in seeking to listen better and to appreciate the gifts hidden in ordinary days. Perhaps, as Frederick Buechner wrote, “Listen to your life…in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace. ”
Moments matter, and so do you.
As for 2022, it’s a 365 page book of blank pages. Imagine what’s possible, all you angels in disguise.
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