By Pastor Jason, Hope on the Beach
Have you ever thought for months, planned for weeks, gotten everything together, for what you knew would be the perfect gift for that somebody? And you were so excited that you could hardly wait for them to open it? But maybe it didn’t turn out just perfect.
Have you ever planned to have a photograph of all of the grandkids in their most precious Christmas clothes? It will be the perfect gift for Grandma. But when you go to have the photograph made, little Johnny will not sit still. Andy has pulled the bow, the one the beautician put in for $16, out of his sister’s hair. You promise Johnny things you have no intention of giving him if he will just sit still for one minute. You get the bow back in Betty’s hair, but you have to settle for a ponytail.
All is going well when, just before the photographer’s flash goes off, the baby throws up! What was perfect in your mind is a total disaster. Or is it?
Have you ever been there? I find it rather ironic that each year we strive to have a perfect Christmas or that perfect Christmas moment. However, the original Christmas wasn’t perfect at all. Jesus wasn’t born in the perfect family or in the perfect location. On the contrary, Mary was a 13-year-old virgin engaged to marry Joseph that became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
This almost led to a divorce. She had to make the long journey while eight months pregnant on a donkey, and when she arrived she did not even receive a room to rest. Instead, she goes into labor without doctors, midwives, family or help, all in a stable with animals. This is not the perfect moment parents dream of. Or is it?
The truth is that it is not what we do, where we are, what we have or what we get that makes Christmas perfect. Christmas is perfect because God, who is perfect, enters the imperfect mess of life. God took on flesh and was born, Immanuel: God with us.
Christmas is perfect because the perfect son of God was born for us. Jesus was born this day to take our sin (imperfection) away, and now we have life and life eternal.
This is good news! In the midst of the disaster that is Hurricane Michael, or our own disasters that rise up in our lives, we can still have a perfect Christmas by having Jesus with us. After all, this is what Christmas was about in the first place.
Please pray with me that we stop striving for a perfect Christmas, and that we celebrate the perfect Christmas that is already here. Pray that we would be more like Mary who received the perfect gift of Jesus and treasured Him in her heart.
God’s perfect Christmas be yours!
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