As often, I share a table grace I wrote for this Christmas.
And, as usual, I will not end up offering this at the Christmas table.
If Christmas time isn’t a time that magic can be made, then when can it happen?
The magic of Christmas is a combination of two things.
As a ritual, one of the last big rituals we share, some of the magic of Christmas is time. Christmas is a milestone, a marker in time, a moment when time collapses down and touches itself. At Christmas, we experience not just this ritual, but also all the times we have made this ritual before, all the times we have heard the same music, seen the same decorations.
It is impossible to sit down to Christmas dinner without flashes of other Christmas dinners we have enjoyed at other times, in other places, and with other people. Those flashes take us through childhood and adolescence, especially as we see those younger than we are enacting the same rituals that live in our memories.
Time past, yes, but also time future, as we celebrate birth and growth, the coming of the light one more time.
The other magic, of course, is the magic of opening hearts.
All the ritual of this darkest time of the year is set to loosen us up, to get us away from the everyday, to see and value the special and magical.
It turns out that the most magical thing we as humans know, the most magical thing we can know, is what is inside the other humans around us: the skills, the imagination, the care, the love. We feel the spark of the divine in the possibilities that others make incarnate, feel the sense of something bigger and more encompassing, feel the power of hearts opening and connecting.
The spiral of time and the opening of hearts are are the core of the magic of Christmas.
The stories that opened our hearts, from the story of a child born in Bethlehem that has spread across the world for two millenia to the story of a miser written just over 160 years ago, these are just two of the stories we crave at Christmas. We seek stories that affirm that when the power of time comes together with the power of an open & committed heart, magic can happen in the world.
As we sit at this table, sharing our time together and sharing the special things each of us bring, may we accept the gifts of this magical season.
We are here to open our hearts and mark the time it has taken for another orbit of our sun. Here in the short, cold days of winter we affirm the possibility of magic, affirm the hope and power in the new birth of the sun.
The time called Chrismas is a time to come together to celebrate the magic of time and open hearts that makes all things new and possible.
Today, sharing this feast, we share our time, we share our love and and we share that magical hope.