Our lives change. We change. And because we do, it's heartening to know that God doesn't. Jesus is the same: yesterday, today and forever.
It's the week before Christmas, and all through our home
Is the silence that comes when your kids are all grown.
The hustle and bustle of previous years
Has almost completely -- poof! -- disappeared.
I don't miss the pressure to get it all done,
Or the effort it took when the children were young.
But it's nice to remember the blur of those days
As our lives move into a different phase.
We're ready, I think, to leave good things behind
For the sake of the joys we have yet to find.
Christmas lights, decorations, gifts under the tree
are nice, but not needed, on this we agree.
There's just one indispensable part of the day:
The babe in the manger, asleep in the hay.
Because he was born on that midwinter night
There is hope for the weary, and in darkness there's light.
He is always with us, and never will leave
Even in moments when it's hard to believe.
And the changes we weather as seasons and tides
Only prove that the God who loves us abides.
This is a transitional Christmas for our family. The youngest is a senior in high school. We're a flyover for reindeer and sleighs, and gifts are fewer and simpler than they used to be. We'll still go to midnight Mass, but we won't be getting up at six or seven o'clock on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought. And that's fine.
Our lives change. We change. And because we do, it's heartening to know that God doesn't. Jesus is the same: yesterday, today and forever. He is the Alpha and the Omega, and because of that he is with us at every beginning and end we encounter. He guides us through valleys, over mountains, and across seas. He gives us rest when we are overwhelmed, and joyful anticipation when all seems quiet.
I'm grateful for all the Christmases past, but I'm hopeful for all the Christmases both present and yet to come. Each has something to offer. Or perhaps better said, each has its own way of offering what every Christmas has to offer. God, a newborn child, fragile and weak and here to be with us so that we might be with him.
Whatever has changed in your life in recent years, the message and meaning of Christmas is the same as it always was. Do not be afraid! Each day brings good tidings of great joy. A savior has been born for us -- for you, and me, and all the world.
Jaymie Stuart Wolfe is a wife and mother of eight children, and a disciple of the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales. She is the author of “Adoption: Room for One More?”, a speaker, musician and serves as an Aquisitions Editor at Our Sunday Visitor. Follow her on Twitter @YouFeedThem.