Honestly,I am not a Christmas Elf. I fall in the Bah! Humbug! category. I have done enough naval gazing for ten people to try and pinpoint why I can’t embrace all the hoopla and celebration of the season.
When my children were at home, and now if we have grandchildren with us, I put up the tree and sprinkle the house with glimmer and sparkle. On the years our children are not able to join us you wouldn’t even know it was Christmas at my house.
Last year I picked up “The Greatest Gift” by Ann Voskamp, one of my favorite authors.
The book is an Advent writing, a devotional, a journey leading to Christ’s birth.
Because Christmas has been difficult for me, Advent has always been a mystery and a “why bother”. But this year, I decided to be intentional about these days and weeks leading up to Christmas Day.
My first reading today tied into the scripture from Isaiah 11:1…the promise of a new shoot from a chopped to the ground stump. What really engaged my heart and attention was the family tree of Jesus Himself. I’m familiar with His lineage…but today was different. Let me share what Ann wrote:
“The coming of Christ was right through families of messed up monarchs and battling brothers, through affairs and adultery and more than a feud or two, through skeletons in closets and cheaters at tables. It was in that time of prophets and kings, the time of Mary and Joseph, that men were in genealogies and women were invisible. But for Jesus, women had names and stories and lives that mattered.
The family tree of Christ startlingly notes not one woman but four. Four broken women–women who felt like outsiders, like has-beens, like never-beens. Women who were weary of being taken advantage of, of being unnoticed and uncherished and unappreciated; women who didn’t fit in, who didn’t know how to keep going, what to believe, where to go-women who thought about giving up. And Jesus claims exactly these who are wandering and wondering and wounded and worn out as His. He grafts you into His line and His story and His heart, and He gives you His name, His lineage, His righteousness. He graces you with plain grace.”
So today, as I read this…I felt a little shoot sprout up in my heart…..the hope of something new….my shoot is small…hardly visible….but it is green and alive and full of promise. I am one of those weary, not fitting in women that Jesus has claimed as His…. a Grace Woman….a plain and simple Grace Woman.
I hope you’ll come sit with me every December day as I wonder and wander along my Advent journey.