Merry Christmas?

[Republished from my blog]

On the surface, this was the worst Christmas Eve of all time. My wife vomited three times. My daughter, well, I don’t know what is wrong with her. She’s crying and obviously in pain. Sleep has not come for her for any great period in over 24 hours. No family around to help and we’re looking at a three and a half hour drive to my mother’s tomorrow. Arguing over petty things when I know better than to provoke a sick person. Not exactly our finest hour. We might as well forget about Christmas Eve and maybe even Christmas.

A little melodramatic, I know, but sometimes when life gets a little messy, the last thing I want to do is celebrate the birth of Christ. But, something inside tells me I am wrong. What is the incarnation if it isn’t God entering into the vomit, diahrrea, sickness, and death of humanity? The incarnation isn’t sterile, it’s not above the filth of life. To think otherwise is to fall into the trap of docetism. No, God entered into human flesh, born bloody and screaming, pooped and wet his clothes. He might have even got sick and puked.

I thanked God for the gift of the incarnation in the middle of all the difficulties of life today. We listened to Andrew Peterson’s Christmas CD today and I paid deep attention to the chorus of the song “Passover”

“Lord, let your judgment Passover us
Lord, let your love hover near
Don’t let your sweet mercy Passover us
Let this blood cover over us here”

I started to cry while listening to it. I’m not one for emotional, feeling based Christianity, but I had one of those experiences where I just knew that all my feelings of doubt and despair-that God might not love me-passed away and I praised God that his love hovered near. I praised God that his sweet mercy was poured out over me. The sweetness of that moment was only possible because of the incarnation. Thank you, Father.

When I wake up tomorrow, my girls may still be sick. We may put the ritual of opening presents on hold for a while, maybe even a whole day, but none of that matters because no matter what the reality of life is tomorrow, the mercy of God will shower us as we thank him for Christ’s first coming, the climax of Advent.

Almighty and everlasting Father,
The blood of your Son Christ Jesus has covered us
and your grace and mercy are more than we can understand.
As we retell the story of Jesus’ entry into this world,
may we praise You for the most incredible act of love we have ever known.
As we pray and live in expectation of the Second Advent,
may we live as though Christ has already come and established His kingdom
once and for all.
We pray in the name of Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and to the glory of God the Father.

Technorati Tags: , , ,


~ by revmhj on December 24, 2005.

One Response to “Merry Christmas?”

  1. thank you for this authentic account of “life this side of heaven.” We have been sold a lie that Christmas is a perfect time, with perfect gifts givent to perfect people all standing amidst perfect decoratinons. Don’t forget the perfect food. People get sick, fight, behave badly, etc. Christ came into the midst of our mess…what a move!! One we need everyday. Thank you Jesus that your grace and mercy operate in the places where I live.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: