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Back at it…


I’m noticing (from Facebook posts, emails and face-to-face conversations) a huge *sigh* on this first day of the green season following Christmas/Epiphany. Gone are the trees and lights and parties. Fully present are the blues, the bills and a kind of holiday hangover…the exhaustion that comes not just from our recent over-indulgence, but from the nagging sense that nothing is really different on this side of our celebrations.

In some ways, that may be true. Our families and friends are still our families and friends…warts and all. The solutions fairy hasn’t shown up and bopped her magic wand on any of the big issues of the day, which means that it’s still politics and business as usual. As for me (and maybe for you, too): I’m still the same guy I was before we sang Stille Nacht and feasted with the relatives and took a few days off. And now it’s just time to get back at it…to jump into the daily routine which always seems remarkably like the daily routine. So…what’s changed?

Maybe nothing …given the preamble above.

Maybe everything…but I doubt it.

Maybe just enough. That is to say: the effects of our feasting and celebration…of our remembrance and our worship…may not show themselves to be shifts of cosmic proportions. Small, even singular, events can create within us the hope we need and long for. Case in point: one line in a conversation yesterday in which a wise young woman suggested an alternative response to a difficult situation…a response that positively dripped with the Gospel as opposed to the “I’ll show him” knee-jerk reaction which seemed to have the favor of the crowd at hand. Hearing it, I knew that the incarnation of our God had made a real difference in this person’s life. And because of her witness, it would make a difference in other lives, too.

Consider: The one whom we have just been adoring, born in a manger, has also been born within us. Yes, it has happened in mustard seed size. But the deed is done. God has acted. And as we are faithful and open to that seed’s germination, we will be getting back at it…the everyday, mundane and ordinary…with something quite extraordinary working within and through us.

Seems to me that’s a good enough reason to replace that *sigh* with a *smile*.


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