Sunday, December 20, 2015

8th Truth of Christmas- Beauty in the Stable


There have been many depictions of the stable scene where Jesus was born. Somehow, this scene has been romanticized until it looks utterly charming. Images of clean, glowing hay, soft starlight coming in through the windows, and animals with long eyelashes gazing at the baby seem to be the typical look. The scenes are so beautiful they almost put a little lump in your throat.



Such scenes look lovely on a Christmas card, but they are far rosier and more idealistic than the actual event was. In real life, Mary was probably screaming at the top of her lungs surrounded by stinky animals and musty hay. Joseph had to have been scared out of his wits, but still trying to support his wife despite their uncomfortable surroundings. It could have taken hours of agonizing pain for Mary to get that baby out. Hours of pain, tears, and sweat. The animals were likely annoyed at this two-legged mother who had invaded their space and then proceeded to make loud and starling noises.

And then, finally! Baby Jesus emerges, slimy and red, wailing at the sudden exit from Mama's womb which left him bare-bummed in the freezing air.

Birthing experiences are messy no matter where you are. Stables are for animals, who have no regard for human hygiene laws. The whole event was probably about as gross, earthy, and smelly as it gets.

But in the end, it didn't matter. The baby Messiah had arrived, and His presence was so beautiful it eclipsed the mess of the stable, of his parents, and of all of the animals. His beauty overwhelmed and lit up that place, whether it was glowing with soft candlelight, or whether it was cold and dark.

Jesus was the Beauty of the stable.

A lot of people are going are going to have a messy Christmas this year, that is just the reality of life. But in the end, it doesn't matter.

Because the beauty of what we are celebrating is large enough to cover all of our messes, both physical and spiritual.

You may feel like your heart or your home is a stable right now, incredibly messy and the wrong place for a celebration. But there is no need to fear....

....for Beauty has come, and He is big enough for our mess.

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Arriving late to the celebration, no problem, catch up on the Twelve Truths of Christmas with Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, and Day 7.

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