Dec 19, 2014

The Un-Glossy Christmas Card

So here's is our Christmas card this year.  Actually it's a postcard because I figured out last year I could be even cheaper and pay for postcard stamps to family far away and it wouldn't be so painful.  Call me Scrooge. The only "issue" with that is that there isn't room on the back for more than a few bullet points of our family and our last year.  No long, glossy newsy letter.  No room for a personal note.  You get a simple postcard.  You're welcome.

 Our picture this year isn't glossy either but more of a candid.  Patience for picture taking was wearing thin by the time we took this only decent photo of us. Hi. This is us.

But honestly, this is us. So I chose the verse on the front on purpose.  The point of Christmas is "Immanuel, God with us" in our real, raw form.  Not the glossy perfect form anyways.

I was thinking Jesus's beginning and end moments here on earth. About how God arrived in the most third world way you could think of, homeless, in the dirtiest of conditions to the poorest of people.  It must have been purposeful right?  I was thinking how he left.  In the worst of ways, in the cruelest form of death the world has ever seen, in the greatest of shameful deaths.  It must have been purposeful right?  I was thinking about how in the middle He experienced the hardest of human conditions.  Poverty, betrayal and doubt from friends and family, grief, loss, threats, anger, and desperate wrestling with God in the garden of Gethsemane, pain and shame.  He was spared nothing.  It must have been purposeful right?  Truly, to be in God's presence must mean He is entered in with us in the worst of conditions, rather than He is outside of them. So when I experience fear, betrayal, doubt, grief, loss, threats, anger, pain, shame, and desperate wrestling with God, this doesn't mean that I'm not with God.  That somehow such thoughts and feelings are unholy and I approach holiness as I leave them behind. No, God is here among us.  In all the human condition and experiences. I was reflecting on some verses of the Christmas story that are often skipped over.  They are the parting words of Zachariah's prophecy on the birth of Jesus:
Luke 1:78-79
"Because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace."

The Lord shall visit us tenderly IN our darkness and shadows.  Even in death, He is there.  He comes as the sunrise, the dawning of hope coming, and walks with us step by step into the ways of peace.  That is Immanuel, God with us.  That is the true raw beauty in Christmas.  

No comments:

Post a Comment