…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
I was admiring all the photo cards she had displayed on her bulletin board. Every card was a perfect, festive picture of one beautiful family after another. All with the most lovely smiles, very photogenic. I laughed inside.
I can remember trying to snap the perfect photo of my 3 kids for our annual Christmas card. Oh my goodness, to get everyone looking at the camera at the same time. Soon, I grew frustrated and that “perfect” card resorted to whichever snapshot had two out of three looking in my direction.
Now, they are much older and it’s still just as hard. One sees a squirrel, the other talks mid picture, and if we try to include the dog..forget it. At least I’ve learned to just laugh. Well, because, there’s no such thing as perfect.
Jesus, the perfect savior of the world, was not born in perfect conditions. I cannot imagine giving birth in a stable and then laying my newborn in a trough where animals eat out of. All because there was no room available for the Son of God. The perfect Savior was born in an “imperfect” setting.
Do you ever feel like there’s no room for you? Like you are not good enough? Do you ever become so exhausted because you try to be perfect? I was walking the dog this morning practically in tears because I have just been overwhelmed this season. My shopping is not finished, I have no idea what I am serving for Christmas Eve, my house is not clean to my liking! The next minute, a wonderful new friend and neighbor texted me her devotional of the day. It was a reminder of what joy is. My day suddenly turned around.
God could’ve arranged for Jesus to be born in the most luxurious of inns….He didn’t. It was a humble beginning. Not “perfect”. What if it’s ok that I didn’t get to the vacuuming today?
Jesus, the King of Kings, was born among stable animals. Not “perfect”. Maybe it’s ok when our photo card isn’t “perfect”…at least one is looking in the direction of the camera.
Mary didn’t have the “perfect” birthing room. But out of that situation, Christ was born. Maybe it’s ok that I don’t know what I am making for Christmas Eve dinner…yet.
God always has room for you. Always. Whatever it is, whatever your struggle, He always has room in his loving arms. He wants to rescue us from the pursuit of perfectionism. He wants us to experience joy, this season and always. It’s what matters. Not the impossible mission of something that’s not attainable. So, we can focus on the joy of the season, our Savior coming to save us. Now I look at the Christmas card photo and smile…it’s perfectly imperfect.
Thank you for the beauty of this season. Thank you that you sent your perfect Son to save us. Thank you for having mercy on us as we loose focus on what Christmas is all about. Help us to experience your joy this Christmas. Amen