Every direction you turn, images of Christmas are evident.You need not look far to find beautiful and thoughtful displays, tastefully decorated homes with glowing trees, and rows and rows of symmetrical twinkling lights. Step into one of these homes and the warm fire will greet you as you breathe in fresh scents of pine and cinnamon. It is beautiful and clean and so.very.pristine.
Looking upon these exquisite arrangements one senses order and peace.
How did our celebration of this day become so clean and crisp? Where are the smells and sweat and tears that were most certainly a part of Mary and Joseph’s journey?
It begs the question: Do ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ scenes with sparkling lights and gorgeous decorations reflect the Christmas story best? Are the experiences of a frightened and ashamed teenage mother-to-be anything like that?
Do the marginalized and suffering in our world experience Christmas more like Mary and Joseph did – or do we?
I’m reflecting on these two extremes. I love the exquisitely ordered and the beautifully arranged. I close my eyes and picture that sort of beauty in our Heavenly home.
As I soak in Christmas this year I find myself wanting two ones. I want the perfect looking, delicious smelling, pain-free and unpolluted Christmas and I want the dirty, stinky, humble, difficult, but miraculous Christmas that Mary and Joseph and the rich in faith experience.
The end of death.
The end of suffering.