Christmas is a time for family. It can be both wonderful and hard (often, the best things in life are). Our celebration of Jesus creates a space for families to gather, embrace our peculiarities and just be together.
Interestingly enough, my daily reading was based out of Matthew 1 today which starts by covering Jesus’ genealogy. As I looked down through the names and recalled most of the stories, I remembered something I’d forgotten. The sinless, Son of God was derived from a long line of sketchy characters: a lady of the night, an idolater, a liar, etc. His family weren’t (with my best Southern accent) “spotless”.
Most of us feel like God can’t do anything with messy. I’m not sure how we arrive there but it’s a popular destination. And I know some of our situations are worse than others. It’s hard for me to imagine some because I just have no point of reference. The best I can manage is sympathy. But I think we all have, at least, a few things in common.
We all have some relationships which require a lot of maintenance and even more that require a lot of patience. People don’t come wrapped up in a nice, pristine package with a bow. They more often resemble stained glass; fragments of moments that when assembled, form a complete experience. If any of us were to be defined by our worst moment…ouch. I’ve found myself amazed at how people with massive flaws are (at the same time) greatly loved due to the sum total of their person.
It gives me some insight into how God views us. When you love a person, you’re overwhelmed by their best parts. So much so, in some cases, you’re blinded by them. When you decide to love a person, you commit to train yourself to recognize their best qualities. It’s harder. But the fruit of the training can have amazing consequences. Like other training, it becomes natural at some point.
Christmas is a time to decide to love family. And Jesus’ existence proves beauty can come from chaos. Sometimes, we just have to make the effort to look for it in the rubble.