My smallest girl was so excited yesterday unwrapping our Christmas snow globes. She gave each one a little shake before she found a place for them on the bookshelf and watched the swirl of white glitter surround the figures within.
This time of year is a bit like living in a shaken snow globe. All the busyness of school plays and concerts, shopping, cooking and trying to get everything done is like a huge swirl of glitter celebrating yet surrounding and sometimes obscuring the message at its heart.
At the centre of my advent snowglobe there’s the extraordinary miracle of a newborn king laid in a manger, Almighty God constrained in weakness, a world changed forever. I desperately want to celebrate it, to marvel with the shepherds at the miracle of the incarnation, to be soaked in the reality of God-with-us.
And yet there are days when all I can see is the snow, and however hard I try I can barely make out the outline of the new parents cradling my lord and my saviour. This postcard is exactly where I’ve been for the last few weeks, struggling to get a glimpse of Jesus through the snowstorm.
When I started to pray about this picture I was certain that God was going to talk to me about finding stillness, about making space for the glitter to settle so that I can see clearly. And that would no doubt be a great plan. But I was wrong, he wanted to say something quite different –
Just know it. Even when you can’t see it, know that he is there, at the very centre.
The shaking of our snow globes doesn’t remove the figures inside, just obscures them.
This Christmas, even when you can’t see for glitter, know that he did invade the world that he created. Know that he brought his Kingdom to Earth and that, in spite of all appearances, the increase of his government and peace will not end.
Know that however much the snow globe of your life is shaken, and by whatever means, he will still be there. Even when it feels as though the world has been turned upside down and the storm is at its most suffocating – nothing has changed… he is still there.
And it is possible to reach out through the storm or the glitter and catch hold of him, not seeing perhaps, but touching the miracle of the God who loved us and came to pitch his tent among us.
He is still there
God with us.