Friday, December 4, 2009

the Message in the mess

... of Christmas that is.

I am blessed beyond belief, and yet suffer from the "manys".

  • Many months of planning
  • Many decorations
  • Many hours shopping
  • Many dollars spent
  • Many hours thinking about/worrying about presents
  • Many hours of thinking about lights (yes I'm guilty of that)
  • Many outfits (I'm guilty of that, too)
  • Many gifts bought
  • Many.. many.. many...
God, however gave us the BEST gift since creation. The indescribable gift of Life and Love: Jesus.

I'd like to take a moment and share a story with you.

One cold and dark night shepherds were chilling in their robes working in the fields. If had been four hundred years since the world had heard from God- no prophets, no burning bushes, noth-ing.

And all of a sudden an Angel of Lord appears from the sky. (this is how I envision it- the Bible doesn't go into detail- so I will only know the ACTUAL visual in eternity) The field was black, and I don't think the angel snuck up on them looking like just another shepard in a robe- I'm thinking the field light up with the awesome power of God- and the angel of Lord said "Do not be afraid..." And the shepards, trembling in their sandals, were thinking "don't be afraid- where did you come from? My family and I have been working this field for years, nothing OR NO ONE has ever stepped foot out here with out us knowing about it. And you tell me not to be afraid."

"...I bring you good tidings joy, for all the people of the world. For unto you is born this day, in the city of Bethlehem, a Savior who is Christ the Lord."

And the shepards all agreed, they would travel to see Him. They wanted to witness this awesome miracle that God had told them about.

Meanwhile, after traveling out of their home town, a young couple (Mary was an estimated 13is) were looking for a place to stay. It was cold, they had been walking for days and all they needed was a warm place to rest their heads.

"Sorry we're full"
"Sorry we're full"
"Sorry we're full"
"Sorry we're full"
"Sorry we're full"
"Sorry we're full, but we have this cave (yes a manger was a cave) where all the animals live. You can stay there."

Now think about that. Would you like to crawl into you're dogs kennel and sleep? Or cuddle up next to your kitty's litter box and take a nap- I'm thinking no.

So Mary (I imagine) starts praying:"Lord, I trust You. You have given me the Light of World. Please, Lord God, let me carry Him for a couple more nights."

Just then, her water breaks.

And here He comes. Hours of labor (again, this is what I envision- the Word doesn't go into the details of labor), the smell of poop, animal hair in the eye and one brave girl and her betrothed waiting for the most precious gift. Joesph was trying the keep the donkey out of Mary's face, while Mary was screaming out to God saying "Why, O God, did you choose me?"

Then out of darkness, after the morning sicknesses, the stretch marks, the sleepless nights, the leg cramps, the hemorrhoids, the varicose veins, the swollen feet, the pushing, the screaming, and the bleeding came the soft cry of a baby boy. He could have come with winds stronger than a hurricane. He could have come with all the power and might of a typhoon. But He came like a soft winter snow.

Wrapped in some dirty old rags, God presented the most beautiful gift- Jesus.

He didn't come wrapped in the finest linen, or foiled paper with gorgeous bow. He was presented lying next to animal hair and poop, wrapped in old clothes.

Here's me on the birthday of both my kids. Defiantly not as dirty as a manger would be.

Thank You Lord for the most precious gift of all mankind. Thank You O God, for giving us Your Son- 100% man, 100% God. Open our hearts, Father. Teach us Your way.

I've thought a lot about Mary over the past few months (and in turn, a lot about the young Jesus). As I sit up at night and rock (or glide) my baby girl, I wonder "Did Jesus pull Mary's hair, too?" I think He did. I wonder while tucking my son into bed at night "Did Jesus like to run around the house with His brothers screaming in joy (all the while minding His parents, of course)?" I think He did that, too.

And that friends, is the true gift this holiday. The gift of Hope. The gift of Love.

Christmas is not about the magic- but the Miracle.

He's heard my cry. He knows my pain. He knows my fears. He knows me. And I know Him. And sharing His love is the best gift I could give.

So this Christmas- I'm not getting caught up in the mess. I'm getting caught up in the Message. Christ is here- my chains are gone, I've been set free.


  1. Jackie, I have tears running down my face as I read this. It's beautiful. I pray that I can keep the same focus on Christ this Christmas. Hope to see you soon! love, Amanda

  2. What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it!

  3. Such beautiful words. Thanks for sharing them and for helping make His story more real.

  4. Thank you for sharing!

    Here from Kingdom Twindom.