We bundle up the Christmas story as something miraculous & beautiful, a gift from a loving God to be carried on a pretty hymn or an advent calendar in candlelight. We tie bows & garland & remind ourselves that Jesus is the Reason for the Season & a fresh baby, the promise of our God. We imagine that bright star & the host of angels & the grown men, falling at a baby’s feet in worship. We love this part of the Christmas story, this part of our faith that is just so darn pretty & miraculous & perfect & so full of eager faith.
Mary, hand-picked by God for a specific purpose, agreeing to her calling.
Joseph, steadfast & strong & loyal.
Shepherds, told first by a heavenly host & there was no doubt in their minds, they had proof & each other.
Waiting, always waiting for a sign.
Jealous of those that arrive so quickly.
Almost screwing it all up, so many times.
A long journey that is dirty & grimy.
I feel so alone under that damn star sometimes. I should know the answers. I see the disapproving looks of my mother & the friends that just want to help save me but I have to do this myself. Sometimes, when I allow myself to be honest, it feels like a wild goose chase.
It’s not a glamorous journey, this faith we feel.
Maybe we’re supposed to be deep in the grime.
We’re supposed to wonder if we’re losing our way.
Maybe God meant for us to search for the signs & doubt ourselves.
We journey over the hills & the valleys & it’s uncomfortable. The light & moments of hope, clouded by doubt & fear.
We’re supposed to feel hungry. Dirty. Frustrated. Hopeful. Starved for truth.
Maybe the journey, not just the destination, is where we should focus.