There is something amazing about snow.
It makes the familiar things look different- softer and more mysterious.
It comes to the ground in flakes, but over time, manages to cover a lot of ground (if you know what I mean). To me this is more proof that God is a God of process and journey.
Snow also brings the hope of Christmas.
I’ve been feeling little twinges of Christmas recently.
This came in the mail yesterday:
We opened the box, with great excitement and expectation. I am a sentimental, nostalgic sort of person, and all sorts of warm feelings were welling up inside me as we began to take out the pieces. This was the nativity set that our children would grow up with. The nativity set that our grandchildren would grow up with. (This is not a pregnancy announcement! This is just me being sentimental and futuristic.)
But lo and behold, when we began taking out the shepherd, and wisemen, and other figurines, several of them were broken. My warm feelings started to feel just a bit fractured and splintery.
This poor, gentle creature lost an ear.
Baby Jesus has an unrealistic amount of hair on his head AND he is missing one hand. (See missing hand in the bottom left corner of the photo.)
Joseph looks like he is shocked or gagging.
Perhaps the real reason for that expression is because his head is not attached to his body. Which makes it totally understandable!
We debated returning it. But I think we’re keeping it. I shan’t go into detail about that decision here, but let’s just say that something inside my soul- at some point- began to embrace the idea of an imperfect nativity set. We’ll glue them together, and they will be comfortable in their imperfection, as though they have already been around for awhile. And someday, perhaps little children or grandchildren will break more of them.
The glory of the story will still be there.
That first Christmas wasn’t perfect.
And Christmas around here isn’t perfect. There is the potential to become tired out, people-ed out, and food-ed out (considering both the eating and the preparing). But there is also the potential for much, much beauty, if we choose to be okay with the on-going imperfection of it.
Everything is okay, because Jesus came and one day, He will come again.
You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.