Inevitable Christmas Reality

December 23, 2014

It’s almost here. It’s that sweet and dreadful holiday…Christmas.

We love it…mostly. We hate it…somewhat. We get together with family and it’s sweet. But it’s also hard.

I came across this haunting melody that reflects some of this tension. Give it a listen.

The picture is painted of the sweet but strained gathering with people we love, but people who change. And the sore spots from the past and the tensions created by the change that we know is inevitable are all a part of the gathering. As the lyric so poignantly says,

Our families huddle closely
Betting warmth against the cold
But our bruises seem to surface
Like mud beneath the snow

Being together – gathering closely causes us to bump the sore spots without even trying. But we do so – even as we state our purpose to celebrate the birth of Christ – in our brokenness and incompleteness. We have to – God help us – we MUST see this truth: that’s why He came.

Jesus came to heal our brokenness. But He’s not done yet.

I love these simple, beautiful words that become a prayer:

So let the bells keep on ringing
Making angels in the snow
May the melody surround us
When the cracks begin to show

Like the petals in our pockets
May we remember who we are
Unconditionally cared for
By those who share our broken hearts

Let the bells keep ringing as we celebrate despite our brokenness. Let the purpose of His coming be in our minds as our cracks and bruises begin to show. May we remember who we are – broken, flawed, but redeemed by His grace. May we somehow remind one another that we love without condition, no matter how hard it may be – not in spite of the fact that we are all broken, but BECAUSE we are all broken.

Let us gather with family and friends and let the hurts slide by and overlook the barbs. Let’s hold tight to the love between us and learn to revise as we go.

Like a fresh fall of snow, let us grant a new, clean slate where it’s needed so that we can hold on to what matters – the relationships between us.

Several Christmases back, we had the thickest, fluffiest, fastest, heaviest snow that I have ever personally experienced. It was so messy. And it was so beautiful. It’s like the entire world as we could see it was given a clean slate of pure white. It was an incredible picture of God’s grace for us – covering everything, without exception, and making all things new.

Father, may Your grace envelope us and smooth our rough edges. May Your love in us enable us to look beyond the frustrations and remember why You came to be Immanuel – God with us.

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