– Monday Muse –
Dear One, here we are between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it is here, it seems, that the race picks up. There was a time when I questioned the wisdom of participating in a race which left me gasping for air, and wondering what in the world I was doing, but no longer.
Sometime ago, in 2010, when I was asked to write a devotional for our women’s Advent Tea, I knew immediately what I would write. I would write about the race. For a few Christmas’s earlier, in the most unlikely place, I learned a lesson, a lesson which has helped me over and over again.
Christmas in the Laundry Room
The gifts for our children and thirteen grandchildren were wrapped, and tightly stacked beneath the tree. The desserts were baked, and the pantry shelves were spilling over. Signs of Christmas were everywhere, but not in my heart. I was worn out, but there was one last task.
I dragged myself to the laundry room. The nativity costumes which the grandchildren would wear during the reading of the Christmas story still had to be pressed. Why do I put myself through all this? I’m exhausted, brain-dead. Where is Jesus in this?
I turned on the radio, and plugged in the iron. As wrinkles in satiny fabric melted away, I listened to the tale of a little boy who was playing the role of a shepherd. He was crushed because baby Jesus was missing from the manger. Like my heart, the manger was empty. When the drama ended, the boy found Jesus, and so did I. The narrative had reminded me that Jesus was with me all the time, for the manger was empty because Jesus died that He might live in the hearts of everyone.
Suddenly I realized that there was no better reason to wear yourself out than for the celebration of the Savior’s birth. Renewed, I laid out the costumes, and placed the wearer’s name on the appropriate one, wondering who’s turn it was to read from Luke. For the best gift in the house would be heard, not held.
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of
great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a
Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.’” Luke 2:10
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