Sherlock Holmes of Christmas

Some years we need Christmas as if our whole life depended on it. Maybe this has been a challenging year in mind, body and spirit, more dark days than light. Maybe you do your best to conceal it but underneath you are lonely, afraid, and short on hope. Or maybe you are just plain tired of the artificial pageantry and consumerism of our secular world and yearn to experience something outside the lines, transcendent, and holy!

If we are truly honest with ourselves then we would say that what we really need for Christmas this year is proof that God is still present among us, proof that there is always hope, proof that no matter how dark the night, there will be a star to light our way, and proof that there is a greater plan, even if we cannot see it, where all will be right, and just, and holy in the end.

We know we won’t find what our souls are seeking in beautifully wrapped gifts, mugs of egg nog, or standing in line at the Apple store. The true gift of Christmas has no price tag. It is mysterious and always catches us by surprise. You may experience it as a warm glow that radiates supernaturally from your heart, flushes your cheeks with hope, causes the hairs on your arms stand on end, and your eyes dilate in wonder. Tongue-tied, you’ll stutter, “I know not what.” But the soul knows. The soul has always known.

This Christmas I challenge you to become like Sherlock Holmes and faithfully search for the holy clues underneath the tinsel, the bright red and green ribbons, the revelry, and the gifts. See if you can prove that God is still with us, that hope does not disappoint, that there is a welling of joy untapped deep within you, and that yes, when you do take the time to contemplate your life, you see that there is a beautifully intricate and holy plan of which we are all apart.

You’ll know this has been a meaningful Christmas, not by the number of gifts, parties, and cups of egg nog you consumed, but by the tally of “I know not what” moments, the glimpses of angels, shepherds, and Magis, and the quality of glow that radiates from your heart.

Live in Hope,


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