I woke up this morning feeling rested, but it didn’t take long for the stress to set in. I haven’t been home long enough to do anything remotely domestic in nearly three weeks. Christmas is five days away and our home looks like a college dorm room… at least it feels that way. As a wife and a future mother, I want my home to be welcoming and comfortable. I want it to be clean and carefree. And that’s on a normal day. On Christmas, I want it to be perfect. Cozy. Warm. And as I looked around this morning, I saw the opposite. F-A-I-L. Right? My sweet husband tried to tell me that it’d be okay, that in just a little while everything will settle down and we’ll get back to normal. “But it’s CHRISTMAS!” I said… “It’s supposed to be cozy now, not later!” I feel justified in my frustration because I’m not being materialistic and I’m not trying to spend hundreds of dollars on ridiculous presents, so I’m not missing the message of Christmas, right? I just want my home to be welcoming. What’s so wrong with that? That’s admirable, right?
Thank you, Tony Reinke, for posting about Dietrich Bonhoeffer today.
Writing from a Nazi prison cell, Bonhoeffer tells his parents, “Viewed from a Christian perspective, Christmas in a prison cell can, of course, hardly be considered particularly problematic. Most likely many of those here in this building will celebrate a more meaningful and authentic Christmas than in places where it is celebrated in name only.”
Reinke writes, “Ironically, we can miss this meaning of Christmas if our celebration is only wrapped up in comfortable warm fires and the fellowship of friends and family. We can miss the memory of our desperation that required the Son of God to suffer for us. We can miss the personal desperation met in the manger. And we can miss out on the fellowship of his sufferings.”
“Comfortable warm fires and the fellowship of friends and family”? That sounds familiar. That even sounds admirable.
LORD, don’t let me miss the memory of my desperation that required your Son to suffer for me.