In the midst of end-semester craziness, I hope you have found a few moments to decorate for Christmas. We got the decorations out this weekend, and one of the highlights in our home is my wife’s Christmas village. Perhaps you have one, too. Over our sixteen years of marriage we have accumulated quite the collection of ceramic homes, shops and other accessories. They light up, they’re beautiful, and they display a perfect picture of Christmas Town.
The only problem I have with the Christmas village is that it gets set up on the section of our kitchen counter that serves as our “junk” counter the other eleven months of the year. Perhaps you have one of those as well. You know, the place in the kitchen where bills, kids’ papers, keys, coffee cups and miscellaneous doll or lego pieces get placed on a busy day. So I drive my wife crazy when I habitually put my junk in the Christmas village. As much as I try to say the giant coffee cup on a rooftop is the latest advertisement, I will always get the response “No junk in the Christmas village.” The Christmas village is designed to be a picture of perfection, and there is no junk allowed.
We often like to present a picture of perfection. But the really, really good news of Christmas is that God does not step into perfection. He steps into a mess! Remember how Jesus came, not to the well-lit Victorian streets of Christmas town, but to a low-lit, absolutely filthy manger. The entire Christmas seen is a reminder that God steps into a dirty stable. And if he is willing to come to that mess, he is also willing to step into our mess as well.
This time of year, it is easy for our desk (or our lives) to get completely out of control. What better time to be reminded that Jesus steps into the mess. That means he is not afraid of the pile on your desk, the pile in your finances, the pile in your relationships, or the messiness in your heart. He comes to us and meets us where we are.
So this Christmas, as you remember the Christmas story, remember that he steps into the mess. THAT is the truth of Christmas.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Finals Week!