Perhaps it is just a time of introspection or the cold of winter but something makes the nights around Christmas seem that much darker and quieter. It is at this time of year that I also notice this nagging sense of being out of place, an emotional or spiritual orphan even. I am sure it is the emptiness of my nest, despite the husband and the hunting dogs. My mother and sister do not live near and my son has gone on creating his own family. An awkward sadness arrives around Thanksgiving and doesn't part until after New Year.
In those dark, quiet days when carols ring hollow and Christmas cheer appears staged, I listen to Handel's Messiah. Not only is the music breathtaking, but the words proclaim truth in a way that my tired soul appreciates.
It is then that I inhale deeply of the mystery of God and glimpse my small walk on part of His story. It is then that I hear angels calling to each other, crying out how amazing is God, that God has plans that we couldn't dream up no matter how creatively outside the box we think. It is in these moments, as I begin to sing along, that I recall that I am part of something much more expansive than this moment, that my family is large, even eternal.
While the dark and the quiet do not leave, the emptiness is now Fullness.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6, 7 ESV)