With only about a week left until Christmas it’s likely that stress levels will be on the rise. There’s the shopping to finish (or start, yikes!), parties to attend, and all those moments of holiday cheer that we wanted to plan into the season (like that trip to Rockefeller Center, or baking Christmas cookies, or sitting down with the family to watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’) are quickly becoming impossible in the hectic pace.
There’s never enough time to do everything we planned for Christmas. That can spell trouble for our sense of peace though, because we often determine the ‘success’ of Christmas by how MUCH we were able to accomplish and how close to PERFECT we were able to make it.
From the outside looking in… there were a lot of ‘imperfections’ in the Christmas story. The coming of the messiah wasn’t heralded in the halls of kings but rather to poor shepherds. He couldn’t even be born under normal human shelter but rather in a stable. Far from being a world leader, a religious scholar, a mighty warrior, or a wealthy noble, Jesus lived and worked, ministered and taught, and even died pretty much ‘under the radar’.
This reminds us that GOD makes things ‘perfect’ AND God defines what ‘perfect’ means. God has always been in the business of making broken things beautiful. Nowhere is this clearer than in the Christmas story. If we can let go of our notions of perfection this Christmas… and look for where and how God is making things perfect… we can fully experience a peace and joy not available to us any other way.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:7)