The Christmas decorations are crammed into a box in the back of the garage now.
The mantle over the fireplace is devoid of the garland and ribbons that adorned it for the past month.
The table decorations have been restored to their pre-Christmas centerpieces.
The boxes have been recycled, the wrapping papers discarded, and the tree has disappeared.
The only tangible evidence remaining of the Christmas season can be found around my newly enhanced waistline.
It’s easy for us to have faith at Christmas time. We sing carols and gaze into nativity scenes. We read the Christmas story to our children.
We gaze at the bright stars, and hum “Oh Holy Night,” under our breath.
And for a brief moment, a brief respite, “all is calm, all is bright” in the world.
Faith is easy at Christmas. Finding God at Christmas isn’t terribly hard.
But what do you do after Christmas?
You know, when life slaps you in the face, and your circumstances and challenges loom over you menacingly and forbiddingly.
When your special needs giants in your land wake up from their Christmas slumber and confront you again before you even leave the house.
How do you hold onto that faith, that belief that God is in it with you, when you’re living on the run?
Mary can answer that question for us. Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew exactly what you and I are feeling.
Right after that first Christmas, Mary and Joseph were immediately warned that enemies were pursuing their child seeking to harm him, and even kill him. King Herod was intent on destroying their family. So they fled to Egypt.
This made no sense to them because they believed God had a plan for this child, a purpose for his life, and a destiny that could not be taken from them.
Herod sounds a lot like autism and cerebral palsy to me.
In an instant, a life of purpose suddenly became a life that made no sense. A life lived on the run.
Been there too haven’t you? We all have our own Egypt.
Where’s God? What is God doing here? Has God left us to figure out this journey on our own? Are we going to make it through this journey without being destroyed? Will we survive the trip?
All questions a parent asked when they, like Mary and Joseph, are living life on the run.
For Joseph and Mary, the hope, the courage, the willingness to persevere while living a life on the run, was found in Mary’s arms.
All Joseph and Mary had to do was gaze at the little baby boy in her arms.
God himself was with them. They had Jesus with them for the journey.
The special needs giants you and I face in our lives woke up at the same time we did this morning.
We have nothing to fear either though. For God’s presence, through the Holy Spirit, goes before, behind, and alongside us as well.