This has been a busy month. But I think I say that every month. In the middle of that busyness, it seems life has gotten complicated. Not only has life gotten complicated, it seems Christmas has gotten complicated as well.
Maybe it doesn’t have to be.
I realize that just saying that feels idealistic.
I invite you to dream with me for a minute.
Some complexity is a consequence of living in the modern age and unfortunately, unavoidable.
The rest of it is driven by expectations (our own and other people’s), appearances, fear of letting people down and trying to control outcomes. This kind of complexity is optional.
The alternative is simplicity.
There can be a simplicity in physical stuff, but someone can be a minimalist and still have a heart that hoards anger and control. The alternative I am pointing toward is a Christian simplicity — “an inward reality that results in an outward lifestyle.” (Richard Foster)
No one models this kind of simplicity better than Mary. An angel gives her unbelievable news. She believes it. An innkeeper gives her a stable in which to labor. She receives it.
Every so often you meet a person without guile, someone who takes life as it comes. They don’t have subtle strategies or defenses to manage people and guard against disappointment and rejection. No doubt that Mary was one of them. I can imagine meeting her and being undone by her lack of pretense and purity of heart.
Lord, make us that kind of person. Give us simple hearts in a complex world. Help us celebrate Advent and Christmas—so far as it is up to us—in such a way that the season becomes known to us by simplicity and slowness rather than shopping and speed. In this age, it seems impossible, Lord. So come, Jesus, we’re expecting you to show up. Set your people free. Release us from fears and sins, from busyness and bustle. Let us find our rest in you. ~Amen
Pastor for Care and Community