Friday, December 03, 2004

Now for Sami’s ramblings about Jesus:

I was standing in line at Sears today waiting to purchase some things, when I overheard others in line complaining about Christmas because of the lines. Of course I had Noah with me, and he began to need some attention. As I knelt down to find his pacifier (hoping to postpone all out wails for a couple of minutes), I overheard the gentleman behind me say, “Now that’s what Christmas is all about.” Isn’t though?

Christmas is all about a baby boy, and a new mother, crazy crowds, and crowded inns. Over the summer I spent time musing about what it must have been like for Mary as I walked uphill during my last weeks of pregnancy. I imagined her discomfort riding a donkey (the car was bad enough for me once I had been there more than half an hour). And I can almost hear the sound of her voice saying, “You want me to have this baby where!?” After 2000 years worth of idealizing it, our nativity scenes have become somewhat sanitized. We quietly sing, “All is calm; all is bright.” Try telling that to a woman who just found out her delivery attendants can only moo, bahh, or bray.

So Christmas is chaotic. The truth is that it always has been. Jesus’ birth was not idyllic. It was real. He came here real, covered with blood, peach fuzz, and vernix. The clean, smiling six month old we see gently cooing in the hay on our mantles is a bit overdone. However, there is some good theology in the real life drama of Jesus’ birth. The good news is we don’t have to clean up and sanitize our lives before we invite Him in. The best Christmas gift did not arrive on this earth neatly wrapped in a ribbon. He probably was red-faced, squirmy, fussy, and could really use that set of lungs His heavenly Father equipped him with.

I’m so glad that Jesus is right at home in the midst of crazy, chaotic moments. There are so many of them that we would never survive if His blessed presence wasn’t in them. I am so glad that somehow Jesus makes His home in the realness of our lives, but then begins making real the peace of His presence. I am so glad that inviting Jesus into our hearts has a way of settling down those things within and without, so that we are transformed by His calm love, becoming catalysts of transforming love wherever we happen to be. Oh He is so great and awesome! I am amazed at His incarnation, that He wanted to join the human race and that He still wants to join us where we are.

We can feel guilty about the chaos in our lives, guilty that there is more of the season than there is of us to go around, guilty that once more time slips away and we failed to experience that picture in our head or the scene on our mantle. Or we can stop right this moment and pray, “Even so Lord Jesus, quickly come.” This is my Christmas prayer. There is not enough of me to make life something other than it is. Sometimes I just have to shrug my shoulders in apology, and invite Jesus into, not just the good, but also the bad and the ugly.

Funny thing. He’s always happy to enter in.



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