Grace and Hope in the Mess of Life
- Norman Rockwell Christmas.It's the holiday that I've always wanted.I
recall complaining to a friend three years ago,of my great frustation
with all of the "work" of Christmas-all of the parties and gifts and
travel;spending all of Christmas vacation on the road,driving from
one relative's home to the next.Christmas can be very disappointing
for the perfectionist who places her hopes in solid planning,gift
selection and the most delicious foods.
Three years ago,these were the concerns on my heart.But much has
changed since then.Three years ago September 11,2001 had not yet
occurred.It was before we had sent troops to Afghanistan and it was
prior to the untimely death of my mother-in-law.Three years ago my
sister and I were still talking every other day on the phone;this
year will be our first Christmas since her passing.There was no war
in Iraq then so my brother was not stationed half way around the
world,and it was before the fear of dirty bombs and antrax and small
pox was part of our daily routine.
The picture of Christmas in my head now is of a baby being born to a
cruel world on a star lit night in Bethlehem.I have abandoned any
notion of perfection;all I know is that life is a mess.I understand
that that good news is that God is near.He made it so when He sent
His Son that one Holy night.And though our world is filled with
violence and imperfection,He is here and His touch is loving and
living and lasting among us and this is the true joy of Christmas.
Today my prayer is not for perfection but for peace.Instead of hoping
things go the right way,I will pray for more of God's grace.My hopes
no longer hang on the hinges of precision planning but rest in the
hands of the Child Redeemer who is my Eternal King.
----Rev. Kimberly Majeski