As the days continue to rush toward December 25th, it feels like the rush and hurry have also increased. People who are normally calm and rational become whirlwinds of too much activity and too little quiet. Too many presents and not enough presence. We hurry to make the tables and living rooms look more like a magazine photo than spending moments staring at the Christmas tree in wonder with our children. We forget as we rush to parties that fill our days that our hearts are becoming more and more empty.
When it comes to Christmas, it isn’t about the overflow under the tree, it’s about the overflow of God’s heart. It’s about the precious Son of God who came from Heaven to Earth, who came unto us. Who came down into our mess, into our craziness, into our rush and hurry, our gatherings, our world, ready to be invited in. Waiting to be invited in– to our homes, our lives, our hearts.
We struggle with the parts that don’t look like we want them to– the mess in the corner of the living room, the dirty dishes in the sink, the piles of laundry on the bathroom floor. Such a mess, so embarrassing. We think we cannot invite people over until the house is “perfect.” But if we are waiting for perfect, we will never act.
There is a contrary thinking to this; one of my favorite authors, Shauna Niequist, describes it as “Present over Perfect.” It’s choosing to clear off the table into boxes, bags, and baskets, to make room for the mismatched dishes and glasses, the take out boxes, the “take and bake” pizzas, and fizzy drinks to gather with friends. To laugh, to celebrate, to embrace this season.
This precious season, when the Perfect Gift of Heaven came unto us– to be Present, in our hearts, in our families, in our hurts, in our healings, in our searching for peace. The Prince of Peace came unto us.
And He is still coming… He waits for us to invite Him to gather around the tables, to gather in the living rooms of our lives. To join hands with us.
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us, a Son is given, a Son is given… And His name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Handel’s Messiah).