Lectionary reading for 12/26/2021: 1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26; Psalm 148; Colossians 3:12-17; Luke 2:41-52
Selected passage for reflection: Colossians 3:12-17
Colossians 3:12-17 NRSV
12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
December 26, the day after Christmas. The gifts have been given. The feast has been consumed. The mechanics of the holiday have been fulfilled. This is the day that for many includes as much stress as it does joy. Families and friends who are getting on our very last nerve. Awkward scenarios and conflictual conversations. Not at all what Norman Rockwell had in mind. Yet here we are. Jesus has been born, the angels have rejoiced, God has smiled on us and still we feel a little empty, a little lonely, a little lethargic. It is into this very state of being that Christ desires to come and clothe us in His love, His peace, His joy.
I like to think of the “clothing yourself” that Paul speaks of in Colossians like this: putting on my favorite insanely soft fleece hoodie. Letting Christ’s presence enfold me in the most gentle nurturing way. Snuggling into His love, letting Jesus surround me, dwell in me, where I am and how I am at this very moment. Receiving all that he wants to give me. Basically calming down, slowing my breathing, and letting Jesus love me.
The texture of Christ’s love is indeed snuggly fleece--comforting, so much so that I may find that, in spite of all that is swirling around me on this day after Christmas, I am able to have a little more patience, wisdom, even forgiveness. Which just may result, as the Scripture says, in a song of praise arising in my heart, thanking God for the gift of Jesus.
Sometime today, put on your snuggly, comfy clothing, light a candle, and sit quietly with Jesus. Breathe out your anxiety, fear, or whatever is intruding upon your soul right now. Breathe in the gentle love of Jesus. Know that He is with you, enveloping you like the best fleece hoodie ever.
Jesus Christ, God sent from above to live with me and in me, help me to lean into your comforting presence, and to know that you dwell with me and in me, even through these winter holiday seasons. Amen.
About the Author
A long-time resident of Chicago, Oreon is a seasoned urban ministry practitioner, spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and Enneagram consultant. She currently lives and serves with the Jesus People community in the city's Uptown neighborhood. Oreon plays a mean blues guitar, loves to laugh deeply, and appreciates a serious cup of coffee. @oreont