Here I am once again a stranger to my own blog. One would think that after an extended period of non-posting that finding something to say and then saying it would be easy. So much left unsaid means that much left to write about, right? I’ve discovered the opposite to be true: an unintended writing break carries the unintended consequence of making the return to writing all the more difficult. Or, such is my experience. Can anyone concur?
One of the things I’m finding it hard to write about though it seems it should be an easy enough topic: our Christmas. Some of the highlights: our church’s children’s music program. Food. Family. Giving. Receiving. Our church’s first Christmas Eve service. Carols. The Nativity Story. Humbly pondering God made flesh. Much to be grateful for. Much to inspire worship and wonder. It was good. It was merry. It was also hectic and exhausting and, dare I admit it, stressful.
And today, after all that was merry and bright is now over and done, I am left with the familiar post-Christmas detritus. Boxes, ribbon and stray pieces of wrapping paper littering the floor. Trees and decorations needing to be taken down and put away. Exhaustion. Lethargy. Wishing I’d savored and enjoyed instead of hurried and hustled. Glad it’s over but full of regret that I didn’t do and be all that I’d wished and wanted.
On a side table in our den is a small, white Nativity that I purchased at a craft show the first Christmas we were married. I treasure the simple, ceramic figures not because they are particularly valuable but because of the sentimentality of our first Christmas together as well as its depiction of the miracle of Christmas, God’s indescribable Gift of His Son, Jesus. Mary, Joseph, the angel, the shepherds–how humble, how beautiful, how amazing. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Incredible.
Today my humble nativity shares table space with, among other things, a remote, some candy wrappers, a half full container of Whoppers, a couple of books and an empty tea glass. It’s a mess. It’s my life. Part of me is ashamed at the apparent disregard for the Nativity. A larger part of me is overwhelmed by the realization that just as the small ceramic Jesus is surrounded by the litter and rubble of our home life, so it is that right in the middle of the mess that is my real life, He came. He emptied Himself, taking the form of a man, a baby, not to be put on a remote shelf to be admired from afar. His Nativity–His birth, His life, His death, His resurrection–all are to invade my real life: the mess, the sin, the insufficiencies, the complete and total failures. In spite of it all and because of it all, He came. He seeks. He saves. He forgives. He redeems.