There’s Still a Baby
Things are mostly unchanged around here. We’re still in a pretty thick patch of brambles. My family is fractured and broken, and my writing is still at a standstill with no hope of return.
And it’s to this season of joy that I bring grief, pain, anguish unresolved.
This has been the hardest year of my life.
That is not an exaggeration. Consequently, this is the hardest Christmas of my life. A tree is up and gifts are purchased and wrapped, but there’s been a bare minimum of activity. Christmas cards were nearly non-existent on my end. I’ve baked only one batch of cookies and cooked one pan of fudge. My children have been occupying their hands with Perler bead creations, but that’s been the extent of the homemade gifts around here. Amazon is my best friend.
My real best friend and I message each other daily. She is my lifeline in this season, and I hope that I am hers. She relayed circumstances that had her reeling today, and I relayed mine. And then I remembered–there’s still a baby.
We think we’re grown up because we know that Christmas isn’t about the gifts and the materialism. We think we’re sophisticated–that we know it’s about Jesus. We recite Isaiah and Luke and Matthew, and we go to candlelight services, and we say “yes, yes, we know the manger scenes aren’t technically accurate and Jesus probably wasn’t born on December 25,” but we forget.
In the midst of grief and sorrow and anguish, we forget that there’s still a baby.
We tell our little ones that it’s not about them, but we forget that it’s not about us and checking off all the proper boxes that are required for a proper Christmas. It’s about him.
On a Christmas when everything else is stripped away, I remember–there’s still a baby.
Christmas is about hope.
When Pandora opened the box and let out all the Furies in Greek mythology, she was left with only Hope.
When we are crushed by sin and sorrow and grief, there’s still a baby.
And that baby is Yeshua, Emanuel, God with us, Prince of Peace, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Healer, Redeemer, Savior, Messiah.
The promise was peace between God and man–eventually. The promise was lifting the curse of sin–but not now. The promise was healing the broken and justifying the unrighteous–in due time.
In the meantime, we wait on the Lord who has his own sense of time.
We pray for healing, redemption, peace, restoration.
And because God is with us, we can hope.
I don’t know if 2017 will be any better than 2016.
But I do know that the baby who came into the world on some uncertain date approximately 2000 years ago is still Emanuel, God with us.
And because He is, I hope.
Merry Christmas, friends. May the God of peace and comfort draw near to you this season.