Revisiting Christmas


 It began in a stable…

 The smell of hay and animals filled the air.


Mary, just a young girl, must have been afraid.

Miles from home

Away from mom and dad

Birthing a child

In front a man she had not been intimate with yet


Joseph, himself a young man,

 In all likelihood his first time to help birth a child

Wondering how to take care of this woman and this child

The responsibility of raising the child of God


What was it like to hold this baby?

Scary, overwhelming, confusing

The emotions of being chosen as a part of this purpose of God-

Not all pleasant emotions


Beginning life together in a backwards sort of way

Childbirth first

Relationships later


Angels pronouncing “Peace on Earth”

But where was that peace?

It was not to be found yet


There was not complete peace in that stable

If we are real about what was happening…

Two young people probably more terrified than peaceful

Wondering if God was going to use them to birth His child

Couldn’t He have given them a room in the inn?


Being introduced to God

In skin

After 400 years of prophetic silence

Perhaps He had seemed a distant God before

Now His plan came – in a stable


A second phase of confusion for Joseph and Mary

After dreams, angelic visitations,

Trying to explain the plans of God

To others who were not privy to the experiences


The wonderful plan of God’s peace

Eventually ended on a cross

With Mary’s heart again experiencing the greatest confusion…

Had she carried this plan of God for these many years to watch it die?

Had God abandoned her?


The ways of God are unexplainable

And we make that sound so beautiful

And almost magical

Yet the plans of God are more often

Confusing, perplexing,

Not our ways

Not our thoughts

Plans more complex than we can understand


Peace on earth will eventually be a reality

But for now it can only be peace in our hearts

And like Mary and Joseph

Sometimes the peace is crowded out by

Fear, confusion, and ambivalence

As we wrestle to understand this God we serve


And now celebrating “Peace on Earth”

By rushing, pushing, stressing about money and gifts and schedules,

Feeling of failure in our ability to find the right gift that expresses love

And finally just needing to find some gift that will allow us to check a person off our list of responsibilities


Yet as at the first Christmas,

Perhaps we would better find God

in a stable of sorts

the stable of our hearts


As  He  births His plans in us in the most unexpected places

in the most unexpected ways

ways that we would not choose

discomforting, confusing ways

Ways to bring us peace

In our inner places


Ways that take us to our cross

Our place of death

While He waits as we die

Knowing that He is able to resurrect us and His plans for us


And knowing the scars we will carry

Will remind us

That the power of God

And the plans of God

Eventually do bring peace


But knowing that we are never able in our humanness to choose with joy

His plans for us to birth a dream and kill the dream

And resurrect the dream

Because it cost us too much


To revisit Christmas

Maybe we should

Look for the scared people

Who need to find God with skin on-

Our skin.


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Categories : Christmas, God's Plans


  1. kathy norman says:

    Wow! “…Birth a dream and kill the dream and resurrect the dream…”. It’s the TRUTH! Yes, it is expensive to be both “Jesus with skin on” and to be vulnerable enough to dare admit I have needs. There is a “Story People” print called “One of Us”. I love it! The last lines say, “in the end, I will be proud to say, I was one of us.”. These “Mikki’s Memos” moments are precious to me. I am deeply touched by your writings. Love you gobs.

  2. Kalob Ownby says:

    WOW!! Thats a Great perspective of the TRUE meaning of Christmas, thanks for sharing!!

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