As I gather thoughts to share on this Second Day of Christmas, the sun is shining and I’m still lounging on a third cup of coffee.
The frenzy of getting ready for yesterday is over. The presents have been exchanged and the gratitude of being with church and family and friends still glows.
I am grateful to not have a Partridge in a Pear Tree or Two Turtle Doves to cope with. And this will reach print when the multiplier effect would have us all opening an aviary to deal with the cacophony of feathered friends.
But today, Boxing Day, the “Giving Day.” We have received, but hunger hasn’t taken a holiday.
We may be warm and comfortable, but millions are living on the edge in tents and refugee camps around the globe. The homeless in our midst are still without homes.
Our precious lord, a child of color, may be resting in our mangers now, but the chaos and oppression of a paranoid ruler will soon send his family fleeing for their lives, refugees seeking a safe place.
This is Christmas. This is the anomaly of our times. The reality of human existence.
For a brief space in time we rejoice in the miracle of life while coming face to face with the fragility of life itself. We don’t get to have one or the other. They co-exist. Therein lies the real spiritual challenge of Christmas.
We have received the greatest gift of all. It is fragile. It is entirely dependent on how we nurture and care and protect this gift so it can thrive, grow and be shared – with everyone.
This gift, this miracle, isn’t meant to be hoarded. It isn’t ours alone. This gift defies boxes and containment.
The challenge and gift of Christmas is on us. We have twelve days to savor and reflect on the miracle. The darkness has been overcome, again.
For us is left the eternal question of Christmas.
The world still awaits our answer.
Rev. Elaine Silverstrim is a retired Episcopal priest, a member of the Wilmington Area Ministerial Association, and a resident of Wilmington.