Sitting by the manger

I am amazed when I see the Christmas story, and get confronted enough to see something new. Today I was able to go to go to the musical Christmas Dreams performed by my church. And the first half was cute: everything from Frozen to “I’m Getting Nuttin For Christmas.” But it was the second half that was like a breath of fresh air.

After Mary and Joseph walked up the center aisle in traditional church versions of first century clothes, they left the stage. When they came back, they were in jeans and sweatshirts, pushing a stroller. Joseph grabbed camp chairs, and they were soon joined by “shepherds” who shed their headdresses to show construction caps and other work uniforms. Wise men knelt in their doctor’s lab coats and graduation robes.

I forget that these Nativity scene stock characters were people just like us. And God did not call them to suddenly be superheroes. He called them to come appreciate what He was doing and spread the word.

Zephaniah 3 speaks of God’s victory:

“Fear not, O Zion;
    let not your hands grow weak.
17 The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.”

I’m trying so hard to go through all the steps of Christmas this year. And sometimes the plans flop, and sometimes I do not even enjoy them. In this book of how Israel was going to be judged, this is the promise of how God finishes the story: victory! And He wants us to be a part.

God, I run in circles until it feels like I am empty and alone, surrounded by tasks and people. But You are there. Please help me refocus, appreciate, and take time to sit by the manger. And please help me to feel the wonder, and share it. Because it is worth sharing!

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