That day of beauty, that Day of Holy Celebration broke into my awareness with the rays of bright sunshine penetrating the folds of the curtains. The room and the front end of the house glowed under the glorious orange ball that hung in the bright blue sky.
Quick calls to deliver Merry Christmas greetings in the just-out-of-bed raspy voice defined the days’ timeline and structured the chore of breakfast, clean-up and getting dressed. Somehow the time ticked away quicker than expected and actually heading out to the destination was delayed.
The 15+ mile ribbon of country roads and back highway stretched familiarly under that bright blue sky. The sun was higher in the sky by this time and had warmed the winter air considerably. The sunroof in the car was designed for such a day as this.
Arriving at the first destination of the day, the morning chill in the air carried along by the breeze displaced the spell of warmth coming from the sunroof. Hurriedly, I stepped into the familiar small ranch style house and out of the wind that was blowing.
Potatoes were boiling on the stove and steaks were ready for the grill. Within a few minutes, we were sitting at the table about to dine on a lunch fit for a king. It was a quiet simple event in a humble house. We ate as if we had not eaten in days when it had only been hours. The food was absolutely delicious. The atmosphere was relaxed, warm and welcoming. The three guests around the table were at ease with each other and in the circumstances.
Hours later and arriving at the last destination of the day, the chill of the late afternoon had increased with the shifting of the sun in that bright blue sky. Giggling at driving up the drive to the backdoor as if I were one of the family, I parked and shuffled to the door and verbally announced my arrival as if I were long lost family finally coming back to visit. In actuality, I had never been to this home before. I was visiting for the first time.
Christmas dinner was simmering away on the stove. The dining room came alive with a fresh arrangement of red roses and plaid placemats with matching napkins. Candlelight highlighted the silver-trimmed white fine china. The living room beckoned guests to come in and make themselves at home. There were comfortable chairs, a divinely appointed Christmas tree, a mantle twinkling with white lights and glittering red Christmas flowers, gas logs burning in the fireplace and classical Christmas music softly playing.
It was a quiet simple event in a humble house. We ate as if we had not eaten in days when it had only been hours. The food was absolutely delicious. The atmosphere was relaxed, warm and welcoming. The three guests around the table were at ease with each other and in the circumstances. By the time good-byes were said, darkness of the night sky had hidden the orange ball of day and the frigid temps had returned again across the land.
A Day of Celebration began in a humble setting and simple food. Those around the table came together from a long-standing bond. Intimacy born of respect, honor and peace filled the quiet kitchen. A day of celebration ended in a humble setting and simple food. Those around the table came together from a newfound bond. Intimacy born of respect, honor and peace filled the quiet dining room and living room.
The Promised Hope, the Promised Joy, the Promised Peace arrived on that first Day of Celebration. From that child born of Love there came the good news of abundant life even for the poor, healing for any broken heart, freedom from any bondage or stronghold and liberty for any who are oppressed. Now so many, many years later, those around the tables with whom I sat in humble settings and with whom I broke bread tasted of the richness of abundant life on a Day of Holy Celebration.