"Beware, keep alert, for you do not know when the time will come." - Mark 13:32-37
Sometimes I think that Christmas, properly celebrated, would not be a fixed date on the calendar. It would not happen on the same day every year. It would be more like a surprise party. It would arrive when we least expect it. After all, no one knew when the Messiah was going to arrive, and we never really know when the spirit of Christ will be made known. It might be on a special holiday circled on our calendars, or it might not.
Imagine waking up each morning and thinking, "Perhaps this is the day. Perhaps this is Christmas." Then, perhaps, we would know that the arrival of Christ is not something we plan or arrange. It is a gift. And you never know when it will be given.
So I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that it happened to fall on December 25. That is, I hope that the spirit of the living Christ was palpably present in every way on that day. But if not, do not despair. The presence of Christ may be made known to you today, perhaps in a surprising moment of grace, after the expectation-laden holiday has already passed, just when you least expect it. It could be today. This could be the day when the promise of Christmas is fulfilled. So, beware, keep alert… and be ready to party!
Jesus Christ, may I be prepared to see you and receive you whenever you are made known to me—on a special holiday or in the most ordinary of days. Surprise me! Amen.
Martin B. Copenhaver is President of Andover Newton Theological School.¬† His newest book is Room to Grow: Meditations on Trying to Live as a Christian. Follow Martin on Twitter @mbcopenhaver.