Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry and bright ...

Our tree looks spectacular this year - because someone else decorated it for me. (Thanks, Liss!) There is a pile of presents wrapped in silver foil sitting under it. Everything looks all merry and bright. One would even say it looked "Christmasy."

But what did Christmas really look like?

At our Christmas Eve service while listening to Pastor Jack  remind us of the Christmas story, I got to thinking about Mary.  

On the table in front of the pulpit, there is a nativity displayed. I love it. It's surrounded by greenery and the figures look life-like. It kind of looks like an open-air gathering among the pines. 

I gazed at Mary's face and thought, "This is all wrong. Mary didn't look like that. She wasn't dressed in clean robes with every hair in place and a peaceful expression on her face."

(Don't even get me started on the three Wise Men in that Nativity scene.)

I remember what I looked like after child-birth. I was excited, yes, and thankful and happy; but I didn't look serene and presentable for company.

When I gave birth, it was in a clean sterile birthing room. Everything was carefully prepped for my baby to enter into the world with as little a mess as possible - even though birthing is a bloody business.

Mary had no such amenities. She was laying on the ground (perhaps on a bed of hay if Joseph had time to arrange it) surrounded by the stink of animals underneath the shelter of a cobwebby stable.

No hospital gown. No pristine pads to absorb any mess that happened. No ice chips.

She didn't have a nurse, or even her own mother or sisters to encourage and help. No one to say, "You are doing fine. Don't worry, this is all natural."

All she had was kind Joseph who hadn't even really signed on for this experience. If he had imagined having his first-born son, it surely had not been in this manner!

After the birth, there was no warm water to clean up. No clean sheets and fluffy pillow to sink into and sigh and think, "Thank God, we made it! Now I can rest."

So, no, it wasn't all merry and bright ... in the natural.

Ah, but in the supernatural, that is another story! A light had come into the world and nothing could ever ever extinguish it. 

"Arise, shine; for thy light is come" - Isaiah 60:1

Oh, the enemy tried to kill the Light and thought once he had succeeded. But the Light blazed brighter than ever and then His Light was carried to others until the world beheld His beauty. And one day, every knee will bow to this Light.

Not one other person in history has affected the world like Jesus. 

Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, born in a stable, in the dirt, by a young inexperienced girl. Only God could come up with such a story!


I'm sharing this at Char's "Trekking Thru" linkup.


Linda Stoll said...

Christmas blessings to you, Jerralea! You've captured Mary in her reality, the stark messiness and unsettledness of Jesus' birth.

Yet, there was peace ...

Thankfully He's still giving us that same peace today in all our messy unsettledness. I am grateful!


ellen b. said...

So true...nothing in the world like Jesus! Your tree looks great. Trust you had a nice Christmas with your family...

Char G said...

One of the best sermons I heard this Christmas season was about Mary's attitude and how she was willing to sacrifice all that she knew - even her reputation - to walk in what the Lord called her to do. She is a fine example!

Faith said...

Good post!! Hahaha yeah try explaining to young children that the wise men really didn't get there to see Jesus until he was about 2 months old! My daughters are older now and get it and they so wish MRy was depicted with brown clothing which is what she would have been wearing since blue cloth was VERY expensive and not what the average Jewish girl wore!!

Sandi said...

"I remember what I looked like after child-birth. I was excited, yes, and thankful and happy; but I didn't look serene and presentable for company."

Haha! Yeah...and imagine doing that in a barn!