One green leaf + one green leaf+ one green leaf = the tree of life
The sermon I heard this weekend focused on Blue December. How it isn’t easy. One of his points was the idea that the first Christmas was no walk in the park, but more likely one hot mess. The things that we try to see as quaint and peaceful, probably made Mary want to shake her fist. Let me list them: not married, riding a donkey–pregnant, no rooms at the inns–not even space at a Super 8, giving birth next to a cow or sheep or goat–and all that goes with that, and a ton of people crowding in to see her right away–strangers no less. Then add in Joseph and his questions, Herod’s killing spree, and then you know, lets move to Egypt (the land of slavery for their ancestors) all by ourselves. And all of this without any government or family support.
If I had been Mary I would have been wondering what in the world was going on.
Have you heard the saying God only gives us what we can handle? I have prayed before, “God, I am not sure what you think my threshold is, but according to me we have maxxed it out. Enough is enough already!” I wonder if Mary hit that point?
There is so much in life we don’t understand. So many things will seem bigger and worse because they are combined with the holidays. We will never know just how Mary and Joseph handled that first Christmas emotionally. But we do know this: they believed and trusted God. They believed that their son was beyond special. They believed they had a job to do. And they trusted God would get them through each hot mess presented to them. And He did. And He will for us as well.
I can think of four families right off the top of my head who seem to get hot messes thrown at them constantly–and on top of other issues, all four are dealing with cancer –that evil of all evils. I am praying to God that they are maxxed out and that it will get better. I am praying that the magnifier of December will lose some power. I am praying that they will be able to trust and get them through it.
Time for us to pray. To pray for understanding, belief, and trust. Time to give it up and hand it over. One hot mess at a time. Or one thanksgiving and praise at a time. One at a time. Lifted up by many. Sort of like green leaves on a tree…one leaf at a time fills the branches to create a fullness and a canopy of life.