Priebe Post-Christmas Post 2015
The task of decorating for Christmas changes each year. As kids leave and get busy with their schedules, my motivation seemed to leave with them. I had to make myself begin sorting through the incredible mismatch of ornaments.
Before me I saw the styrofoam snowball covered in glitter, and noticed what looked like tiny teeth marks - a little critter must have made his way inside the bin in the basement. Contrast that with what I saw next - the cut glass Waterford ornament depicting Mary and Joseph. I was almost ready to pack it all in, overwhelmed with the pressure of making Christmas just right.
As I blinked back tears, the thought occurred to me - how much of our life is a mismatched juxtaposition of our messy efforts and the finest and most beautiful? Who's to say which is more valuable? The macaroni ornaments with nibbles from mice tell a story just as much as the crystal.
We have a tendency to put the best and most beautiful forward. I do it too – just remembering past Christmas letters and Facebook posts convicts me. But if it weren’t for the messiness of life – the struggles and our attempts to make it right - we wouldn’t have a need for a Savior to come at all. And though we like to think the soft glow around the holy family gathered in the manger, I’m sure it wasn’t all that great.
So, I’m not ashamed of our mismatched collection of ornaments. I hung the tattered ornaments on the tree, alongside the fine art ornaments, and then packed them away neatly so I could do it again next year.
Even in January, it’s important to remember that He took on our messy humanity to bring us to His glory.
So as I look back on 2014, I see highlights, and struggles. I won’t detail the struggles; it’s just not polite. But know that Jesus takes them – ours and yours – and weaves them into something greater. That’s the beauty of Christmas, and that beauty is with us throughout the year.