A Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year it was. Being away from home, friends and family wasn’t the easiest of course but instead it felt very Christ filled. I am pretty sure the holy spirit recognized my new comfort level and decided to flip me on my head and spin me making it very clear that Christmas was more about Christ than anything. So after doing a sermon on a Christ centered Christmas and how that perhaps may look. I became very much aware of my own flaws in celebrating Christmas. I even started to feel a little guilty of my own consumerism and sentimentality.
So now, that Christmas has come and gone, where am I? Well, I feel I am still left standing at the manger, oogling at this wonder of pure and perfect love in human-ness and questioning everything.
Something, I often forget about Jesus’ arrival was that it was messy, it was not ideal and it was a imperfect world; “we” (a sum of Christians culturally) have romanticized it by taking out all the suffering. Their was a greedy empire, a war, people were selfish and righteous and the world is just as messy now as it was then. Jesus came into the world when it was suffering; He grew up in it and understood the broken-ness. The world needed Jesus, so God gave us Jesus. My head is whirling about Jesus and trying desperately to write a paper on Discipleship but yet my heart is still left intoxicated by my festivities this holiday season. I’ll leave that rant for another post.
This holiday season filled me with clarity and the kind of joy that makes your heart hurt. I found myself feeling moments of sadness of missing cooking with my mom, playing games with my brother and convincing my dad to make homemade ice-cream. But these sad moments never lasted too long because well, these people (my friends, host family and fellow volunteers) showed me so much kindness. Christmas day, sitting at the front of a church with the choir in a thick, hot, wool robe I found clarity among my leaky eyes. (literally cried the entire service.) These people are family. They have blessed my life with laughter and thoughtfulness. I have many mom-like figures; that looked at me a little wonky when I came home with a nose piercing. I have many dad- like figures that give me thoughtful criticism and advise. I have many brothers and sisters that encourage me and comfort me. Christ has made it very clear that we were all created for each other. I am so thankful for all of the family here and there.
My heart grew in size (like a Grinch heart) this Christmas in absolute gratitude. God bless Everyone.