Have a Messy Christmas!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

It's that time of season. Everybody is upbeat and in a celebratory mood. The snow is sparkling. The lights are twinkling. The aroma of food alone keeps one in good cheer. The brightly colored presents under a heavily decorated tree, keep anticipations high and spirits warm and loving. It's a time to be happy. A time to be merry.

But life, as we know life, is not all sparkly, not all warm, not all cheery. In fact, even as we celebrate with the tree twinkling and full of colors, tiny hands are reaching out and get a glass ball broken, or tiny feet racing around the house, little people shouting at each other, fighting or playing (who knows which), and big people screaming for them to stop. The cake did not turn out right. The oven acts out and the chicken is as raw as a leaf of lettuce in the salad, and everyone's hungry. Relatives come, tensions get high, 'cause there is at least one person in the family who just seem to rise the hair at your nape for no reason at all.

Life is messy. Real life is. It's not that picture-perfect Christmas card you just sent out to friends. It's that messy diaper that some of the time can't keep baby's clothes from getting soiled. It's the new shirt that you've just changed into and already smelling like spit-ups. It's the table all covered with crumbs and chicken bones. It's the messed-up dinner, the unmade beds, the reluctant children, piled-up laundry, the forgetful husband, the overwhelmed mom, the magic words left unsaid.

Even as I am writing this, I am feeling antsy because I may be missing my li'l Angelika's performance at her kindergarten presentation. I made her penguin costume, a girl one, as requested, and slept only a few hours last night after making it.

When we think about it, Christmas--- the real reason why we are here--- was messy too. When baby Jesus came into this world, He entered into our messy lives. Born in a manger to a teenage mother and a man who did not spawn Him (tongues must have wagged), messy was waiting for Him. Before that, His pregnant mom had to travel with a donkey, she, being nine months pregnant. And to think that the airlines wouldn't even let me travel at seven months without a doctor's recommendation!

Then, there was no room and all inns were crowded with tired, dusty people and the only place was at a stable with smelly animals. Oh, yeah. Jesus knows messy!

A few days later, His earthly parents had to bundle Him up, as they tried to escape a mad king's wrath. And the carnage that followed after that king's decree?  Nothing could get messier than genocide. Christ of Christmas knows messy. And it's the reason why He came in the first place.

We are in a terrible mess! There's no denying that. Even how hard we try to cover up our flaws and stupidity, our messy lives tell otherwise. What we see on Facebook is not all there is to what really goes on in life.

I have a messy life. I am messy. I can't seem to have a perfect relationship with people. And things just seem to get awry no matter how hard I try--- the burned dinner, the baby pooping through her diaper, clothes and all and into me on the way to an appointment, the house I can't seem to keep up with keeping, the Christmas and birthday cards I have failed to mail and are accumulating in a box, and of course, the piled-up laundry. (Life is not that messy if there's no piled-up laundry. It's all about the laundry. Heheh.) And the times the kids get the end of my unmanaged stress.

And Christmas? It's good news. It twists my heart around to a place where I see a Savior taking off His shoes, coming in and living this messy life with me. Yes, Christmas is good news. It's Jesus coming down from a pristine, divine, holy heaven to save me from the messy life I am living. "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us" (John 1:14). And in us through the Holy Spirit.

With all the sparkly, twinkly, joyous, merry Christmas around, I would have been fooled into thinking this is all there is to it. But with the mess of a life that I have, I know something more. Jesus. He is with us. With me. And it doesn't matter how messy my Christmas gets.

As an unknown writer wrote: "Jesus is a friend who walks in when the world has walked out."

Have a messy Christmas! Because 'unto us a Child is born' (Isaiah 9:6). And He is ALL that we need. Let Him be born in you.

Now I know how it is to be and live with Him despite my mess. And what it will be like without it.




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