At this time of the year, many people long for Christmas in a CUP.
"C" stands for CONVENIENT.
If we are honest, what makes Christmas merry is that it is difficulty-free! We want everything to come together at the right time, in the right way, and as something that works into everyone’s schedule. That would be great! That would be good!
“U” stands for UNCOMPLICATED.
We also believe that Christmas would be best if it was carefree, simple, easy. Free from all the drama!
"P" stands for PERFECT.
We want a Christmas to top all Christmases. Best ever. The most wonderful time of the year. Perfect.
It's true. At this time of the year, many people long for a warm, hot chocolatey holiday. A marshmallow Christmas. A containable Christmas that fits in our hands, warm and frothy, sugary good.
Which is exactly why I find the original Christmas Story so compelling. In reality, the first Christmas was ... well, not perfect. It was inconvenient, awkward, far from ideal. There was difficult travel, awkward news, and inadequate accommodations. The first Christmas was messy.
So why did the angels call it cause for great joy? What was it about this inconvenient, awkward, and messy event that God determined was good? And great? And filled with joy? The angels reveal the source of Christmas joy:
"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:11—12.
Instead of bringing us Christmas in a CUP, God gave us Christmas in a MANGER. And I’ll tell you why this is so good and great! Here's my acronym for manger. On a Messy, Awkward Night, God Entered Reality.
The good news of Christmas, and all year long, is that even in the midst of our busy, awkward and messy lives, God shows up. And that really is good news. That really is great joy.