Friday, December 18, 2015

A Very Messy Christmas

Dear Everyone: 

I feel you. Through the screen, I feel your stress. I see the strained smiles in your Christmas pictures. I hear the sound of hands tangled in tape, wrestling that cursed foil wrap and crying angry tears. 

'Tis the season. 

And I've been anxious about Christmas, too. It's a warm winter in the Bluegrass, and I'm sweating under my scarf and humming Christmas music like a prayer for snow, always wondering if it's enough.

Then I turn on the TV and see the perfect Christmas for for sale. My rational mind knows it's lie wrapped in a shiny bow. But then something tells me Christmas shouldn't feel like this, like pressure and comparison and never, ever having enough. 

Like never, ever being enough. 

And isn't that the point of every perfect Christmas on TV? We wonder if maybe we can buy the dream, finance it if we have to - if that's what it takes to finally be enough. 

But then. . . maybe not.

Maybe shopping and diamonds and dollars were never part of the perfect Christmas - that one perfect Christmas:

the pregnant virgin and her betrothed, 
their long walk to a common town, 
her unplanned delivery in a drafty stable,
the angels singing birth announcements to, 
of all people, 
a crowd of third-shift shepherds.

You know how the Son of God made His entrance, 
wrapped only in plain cloth, surrounded entirely by plain people - in utter, complete perfection on that first Christmas night.

This is the story, and all its parts read like an accident. It's dirty and noisy and smelly and, to be honest, a little scary because this was the plan all along. This night that looks like oops and smells like a barn, this Christmas that would literally be the worst commercial ever and would sell no toys and would inspire no spending - this is the perfect Christmas. It was no one else's plan - not Mary's or Joseph's. Not yours.

But it was this:
Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven

And if the perfect Christmas should come to our home this year, I'm sure it'll come that very same way: unexpected, messy, and absolutely enough. 
God with us.

Have a Merry Christmas, 

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