Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Chaos

Tonight is the Christmas party at the Bible college where I am taking classes. I have volunteered to get the ham for the dinner. Yes, me - the only person I know who can have a toaster oven catch fire without even trying to cook something; she whose insurance company requires a fire hydrant in the front yard before underwriting a homeowner's policy - is cooking. I have the day off, and am happy to do so. I've planned my strategy, have the timing set in my mind, even canceled a lunch date with my mom to cook this hunk of pig. No problem.

Until last night. The kitchen sink wouldn't drain. Mr. from-the-Prairie tries Drain-O. Doesn't do anything (duh). OK, I'll get up early to take care of it - as if I know what I'm doing. So, this morning I end up taking the drain apart. The sink drains - all over the floor. Well, at least there's no standing water in the basin ... it's now all over the floor ... "Daddeeeee ... can you come over and fix my sink?"

In the mean time, when taking out the garbage, an empty wine bottle falls ***SHATTER*** all over the patio. The sad thing about it is I didn't even drink any of the wine from that bottle. As I'm trying to shoo my two dogs from the glass while I clean up the mess, I can't help but wonder ...

Can today get any more interesting?

In the midst of all of what's going on in the chaotic kitchen I think back to that night long ago in Bethlehem. Things were chaotic there as well. People from all over the known world, converging on this quiet little town. People were sleeping in the streets because there was simply not enough lodging for such a population boom. Everyone was tired and cranky. Children were whiny -
Benjamin: "Stop touching me! Mom, Simon won't stop touching me!"
Mom: "Simon, don't touch Benjamin."
Simon: (Slowly moving his hand toward Benjamin) "I'm not touching you..."
Benjamin: "MOM!!!"
Wives were berating their husbands:
"I told you that we should have left at sun-up. But NOOOoo ... You wanted to buy some extra barley. If we had left at sun-up we'd be sleeping in a real room, and not on the street listening to that Simon kid 'not' touching Benjamin!"
"Yes, dear...."
And on and on it went, all throughout this city. Even in the filth of a stable, where no one would go out of their way to choose to sleep, a woman wails in the pain of childbirth. Soon the chaos turns to joy, when two parents hear the very first cry of their newborn son. Joy so uncontainable that the angels breach the veil of heaven itself to gaze in adoration at this baby. Their announcement says it all:
 "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
News of great joy! But the ones who received the news were not the townies. The ones who received it were not the visitors. The ones who did witness this announcement were shepherds, tending sheep, in the quiet of a field, away from the chaos. The angels invited them to see this child for themselves, giving an ancient sort of Mapquest, if you will - "in the town of David ... you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

When God sends a message, He wants his people to hear. In the midst of the chaos of preparing for the holidays, God wants us to be still, and know that He is still God (and we are not!). Jesus is in the midst of your chaos. Look for Him ... you'll find Him.
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