This year Christmas has looked and felt a little different. Piles of cabinet doors, finishing touches, pulling in our purse strings and a thousand little decisions have vied for our attention. And unfortunately our attention at times has not been solely focused on the birth of Jesus.
While our stockings were hung to commemorate St. Nicholas, our advent felt tree was up, and our stacks of Christmas books were out and read over and over again, sometimes our heart is just a bit amiss.
This time of year has felt a lot like we’ve been going through the motions because in some ways we have. Family struggles, the busyness of the season, and trying to finish our house have seemingly gotten in the way of celebrating the way we think we ought to. But just knowing that carols have been sung and we’ve talked and talked and talked about the baby Jesus due to our many nativity sets around the house gives me grace to know that at least the story has been heard even if in small snippets throughout the day.
Somehow I always think the Christmas season will look for us like something straight of Pinterest with advent readings every night and some fantastic Christmas craft each day and our hearts always in the right place. And then I’m reminded as I have been throughout this year as a whole that the vision I have in mind is not always the vision that takes place.
And I give myself grace.
Because happily ever after and a perfectly executed Christmas and advent season isn’t what we’re after and neither is it, I imagine, what God wants for us either. Because right now, throughout advent and this season, I’m seeing grace anew, and that’s one thing that’s only possible because of the advent season we’re walking through right now. Without the birth of Jesus, grace wouldn’t have come.
Praying the grace of Jesus will find you this Christmas and you will know, as angels sing victoriously in the heavens, that Jesus is the Lord.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
photo by Leah Fontaine