You’re sleeping soundly as the now-completed sequence of thought bubble floats upward toward the ceiling as the next thought bubble descends to take its place in your brain (I think that’s how it happens, but please don’t quote me). If you’re more drawn to savory, this new arrival is a huge platter loaded with twelve, twelve-layer Dagwood sandwiches with all the meats and cheeses and sauces and your choice of pickles, tomatoes, peppers, capers, lettuce, horseradish, onions (you mentally select the ones you like and reject the others, resulting in your ultimate, TV-watching snack). As you take in the heavenly sight before you, you spend the remaining time in this thought bubble figuring out how in the world you will be able to eat the dozen gloriously provided visions before you. But if sweet is more your ‘thing’, the new arrival morphs for you into a table laden with twelve, twelve-layer cakes in a dizzying variety of flavors, like lemon, chocolate, German chocolate, red velvet, Black Forest, vanilla, all exquisitely iced and presented with a knife for cutting, and plates and forks and napkins. As you stagger at the magnificent display before you, guiltily looking around to see if you are alone, you spend the remaining time in this thought bubble figuring out how you will ever be able to finish off the delectable vision before you. Ah, the dreams we dream!
I dreamed up these dream sequences, I suppose because it is now the fifth day of Christmas, the fifth of twelve (You may have noticed the emphasis on twelve above). Both scenarios scream super-abundance, impossibly exaggerated abundance, only achievable in dreams abundance. If, in our dreams, we are capable of such totally bonkers indulgences, perhaps it is in the altered state of sleep that we sync with Paul’s declaration in Ephesians 3: “ . . . with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. God can do anything you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”
So, what we have been given with the arrival of the Babe of Bethlehem is off-the-charts muchness. Life which defies full describing. Life which is of a vastness, a richness, a privilege, which human language fails to convey. Paul exhorts his church in Ephesus, and us, too, to reach out, experience, test, plumb, rise! It would be a tragedy to limit the living of our inheritance to over-the-top, crazy dreams which too soon fade away in the light of day. These twelve days of Christmas are the invitation to the onset of discoveries, the opening of gifts, the promise of never disappointing more and more and more. Ah, Christmas! I think I’ll have some eggnog now. PD