Its been almost two weeks now since I packed my bags and flew home to Ottawa for the holidays. Since I stepped in the front door of our family’s farmhouse, I’ve feasted on countless amazing meals and enjoyed many festive beverages. (Hellooo Trappist beers and Christmas morning mimosas!) I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to catch up with some of my closest pals from high school and gather with my extended family.
But this holiday we have been dealt a few tribulations too. These challenges, coupled with a persistent cold, have left me feeling like a real ball of nerves. I am certainly a sight to behold with a nose that rivals Rudolph’s and a box of tissues within arms reach. It’s been a bit of a messy Christmas this year—there have been so many things on my mind that it has been a real challenge to reflect on what we as Christians are really celebrating.
I wanted to pull together some sort of Christmas post but was feeling rather uninspired. Then, on Christmas Eve, I got a chance to hold by cousin’s young daughter. Now I’m not the kind of girl who goes crazy over babies, but as I held her that afternoon I felt as though all the pressing things I’d been worrying about melted away. It struck me that in the midst of our crazy and broken world the innocence of a child can really bring us peace. Bingo! It’s amazing that God entered the world as helpless child. Matt Maher posted about a similar realization on his blog as well. Read his insightful post here.
I think he really makes a great point about sterilizing the Incarnation. I know I’ve often associated the Christmas story with peace and serenity and a sort of ‘holiday magic’. In reality though, Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem was likely gruelling and wrought with uncertainty and Christ’s birth in the manger, loud and chaotic. And yet that chaotic first Christmas changed everything.
So if your Christmas, like mine, has been as messy as it has merry, know that there is plenty of grace to be found amongst it all and that the chaos and imperfection can actually bring us closer to our Saviour.
He did not wait till the world was ready,
Till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the Heavens were unsteady,
And prisoners cried out for release.
He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,
turned water into wine. He did not wait
till hearts were pure. In joy he came
to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame
he came, and his Light would not go out.
He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.
We cannot wait till the world is sane,
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!