Friday: Psalm 99-110; Deuteronomy 30.1-10; Ephesians 2.1-10

From: Elise H.

And so, the crumpled wrapping paper piles high and the blinking holiday lights are unplugged. Suddenly we feel the "magic of Christmas" slip away into the cold of winter.

Yet—today, Christmastide continues.

What a gift to slow down and embrace "The Spirit" instead of "the holiday spirit," away from the frantic and frenzy.

"...He will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there he will take you."  Deuteronomy 30.4

During advent, I looked upwards, waiting for the birth of our Savior. We've gazed upon the splash of a colorful sunset, the shapes in a cluster of clouds, the slow fall of soft snow, or the twinkle of the starry night sky - and these images remind us of God's creation, God's work, and God's mystery. I constantly scanned the sky for my own Star of Bethlehem, anticipating his arrival and guidance for my own life's path.

However, it has become clear to me that Christmastide—post December 25—is a time for us to turn our eyes away from what's above. It's time for us to look below. Down to the ground that we walk upon, low and forgotten. A reserved respect for our foundation and support and an act of humility to bow before our great King. As the hustle and bustle of the season vanishes, our hearts have room to breathe and focus inward. God gathers us; so we can remember what God has prepared for us during advent's season of waiting.

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2.10

About me: I met my husband Richard at an orchestra camp in North Carolina when we were both 17 years old. We re-met unexpectedly in college at the university dining hall. We like living in South Boston, you should come visit sometime. Richard makes really good Taiwanese beef noodle soup.