We are watching my favorite Christmas movie, Arthur Christmas, after a mystery trip to carol at nana and papas and a drive to see the lights.  The snow is falling outside and everyone is in soft, warm jammies and dreaming of what they’ll find tomorrow.  I carried presents out of their hiding places this afternoon, silently chastising myself for not doing advent readings with the kids this year.  No advent readings, no candles, no straw to feather baby Jesus’ manger bed.  I bowed under the pressure of December.  The sign up genius’, the dishes to pass, the luncheons and gift wrapping and UPS shipment notifications.  These consumed my time and the rest fell to the wayside, enveloping me with guilt and shame.  And so I resolve to do it differently next year.  To let the baby reign and everything else fall away.  Or at least to have it more balanced.  Because if you strip away the trimmings and wrapping, there is only this: a baby.

Wether you are at the top of your game or just riding the pine, the baby came for you.  Wether you are loudly proclaiming Jesus or whispering quiet adoration or saying nothing at all, the baby came for you.  Wether you are having the best year of your life or you lay down last night wishing you wouldn’t wake up at all, the baby came for you.  Wether you have all your ducks in a row or exactly none of them, the baby came for you.  Wether you grew up in the church or have never darkened it’s doorstep, the baby came for you.  Wether you think you are someone to be proud of or someone who no one could ever be proud of, the baby came for you.

This baby.  He doesn’t see your ugly; he is blind to the wear and tear this hard world has put on you, that you’ve put on yourself.  He sees only the person you can become and he promises a roadmap to get there.  The baby is the only thing that matters.  Today and ever.  The only thing.  He came to bring life in a world that stinks of decay.  He came to bring peace in a world rife with terror and deception.  He came to save from a world hell bent on taking you down.  He is hope and light and truth and everything, everything, that is good and right.  The baby came for you wether you wanted him to have or not because the baby knew you and I needed saving more than anything else.  Knew we’d find ourselves desperate for a savior and so he came.  We’ve all spent the last month wrapping and baking and taking care of a million and five small details but there is only one thing that matters: what will you do with the baby?  This can go down two ways.  You can hold that soft downy head and in beautiful reverence slip a crown of gold or a crown of thorns on it.  And that headgear will change everything for you.  Crown him or crucify him.  What will you do with the baby?  Because on Tuesday we will wake up and all the trappings of Christmas will be gone but the baby will be there still, waiting to see what you will do.  Please, dear ones, choose rightly.  Maybe you spent yourselves nailing it with Elf on the Shelf this season, perhaps you busied yourself gifting free-trade chocolates and finding non-gmo snacks for Christmas parties or maybe you did it all right and focused on the baby.  No matter, tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes in it and I’m determined to kneel at that humble manger and crown that precious baby.  Join me?

Happiest Christmas loves!

this is me being real.

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