I am resolved, once again, to slim down our Christmas decorations. So I do. As I work to sort through the stuff, I come across the small box that is home to one gold-plated ornament depicting the Magi en route. Oh, well. Can’t find the ornament. I cannot recall using it this year. Maybe it went out with the tree last year by mistake; we would not have thrown it away intentionally.
When we pause in our work, Jon reminds me that removing Christmas decorations always puts him in a melancholy mood. This year our family time was especially rich and now we must move on; yet we step into the future with great hope because of the gifts of the Christ Child.
We finish defrocking the tree, release its anchors in the tree tray, and Jon carries it through the open sliding glass door, and across the deck. He hurls it onto the hillside behind our house. Later he will walk down to that level and throw it further into the woods.
Sitting at the breakfast table, I restate my belief that strong changes are afoot. Then I see something glittering in the new snowfall on the deck floor, recognizing the lost ornament -- the golden disc.
This morning, as we do our Epiphany work, the Magi remind us in the gift of gold that the baby is a king; in the gift of frankincense that he is to be worshipped; and in the gift of myrrh that his death will be important. Their journey is our journey. Together we travel to Bethlehem, believing that this Child King is changing everything.