I love, love, love Christmas cards with the beautiful scenes of pristine snow and a lovely stable and winsome sheep. I love to imagine the cleaned up version of Christmas. Like I prefer the cleaned up version of me.
I’d prefer not to face the reality of Christmas that involved manure and labor pains, sweat and body odor and afterbirth. Jesus didn’t come into a Christmas card, but into a sin-filled dump.
We are fragile and broken and God comes into the junkyard of our lives not with a bulldozer, but with loving hands that sift through our shattered pieces and gently put us back together, better than new.
Recently I read this quote from The Drama of Scripture by Bartholomew and Goheen:
When his good creation was fouled by human rebellion, God immediately set out on a salvage mission.
He had created it, and it thus belonged to him by right. Now he would redeem it, buy it back for himself, so that it might be restored to what he had always intended it to be.”
I love the image of God’s “salvage mission”.
And then I saw this Youtube video that seemed to be a beautiful picture of people literally living out that phrase.
We all have our junk that needs redeeming. A relationship that needs to be healed. Regrets, broken promises…garbage. Ugliness that God wants to transform into beauty that will allow us to make music that honors Him.
On my best days I cooperate with God in his redeeming work, offering an apology, or telling the truth, or letting go of a grudge. And when I do my work, and He does His, I believe the music is like a symphony that delights Him.
The Old Testament writer says, “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning…Put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption.”Ps. 130
And so, at Christmas, He shows up and begins to transform our trash and the music can begin.
What needs redemption in your life?