This morning as I sit down to write my daily blog, my head is swimming with things I want to talk about. I woke to the numbing grind of the morning news and 90 percent of it had to do with sexual harassment and abuse. It occurred to me – as it often does – that our media has become nothing but tabloid sensationalism.
Then my thoughts turned to my job of stage managing a children’s musical production. The kids were fabulous. I’m exhausted, but at the same time exhilarated to have been able to leave without being wheeled out. It’s amazing to watch young people succeed at something they’ve worked so hard for.
I’ve been trying to get my house ready for Christmas – a task much more difficult than it was when I was thirty. However, if I look back to when I was thirty, I had three children, no money for presents, and barely enough to trudge into the cold forest to chop down a tree.
The holidays are often filled with trying to make everything Pinterest perfect. We usually fall short We bake cookies, we hang Advent Calendars, we start new traditions, infuse some of the old and totally wear ourselves out. Later in life, we think we have the freedom to make Christmas perfect, but we lack the energy and physical capacity to do so. Within all the chaos of living, how can Christmas possibly be perfect?
Many years ago, in the little town of Bethlehem, people had arrived from all over the countryside to be numbered for the census. The people were under Roman oppression. Wars continued to wage around them. Poverty was everywhere, yet they were required to make this trip. Folks were weary of the way their lives were going. It was a time of chaos and confusion for them. They longed for relief. It was exactly the right time for the Messiah to arrive.
When the couple from Nazareth arrived, the woman was about to give birth and there was no room for them. The place where animals were kept became Mary’s delivery room. It was smelly, uncomfortable and no place for the King of Kings to be born. Still it was the right moment, the perfect time, the place predicted by ancient prophets. It was the perfect Christmas, in spite of all the confusion. A child had come bearing God’s greatest gift for us.
In many cases we’ve lost sight of what Christmas is. We place pressure on ourselves to do what the world expects of us during this time. We forget it’s not about giving gifts, making cookies, setting traditions or overindulgence. It’s about a little baby who came to take away the sins of the world.
They say that out of chaos comes order. God knows all about that. He created the world, the universe and everything in it, out of nothing but chaos. He did it in just six days. Imagine how much more He can accomplish today. Order out of chaos – peace in confusion -that’s the perfect Christmas!