Our tree is up. The ornaments are hung. I have festooned the outside of our house with wreaths. I look ready for Christmas, yet nothing could be farther from the truth. True, most of the presents are wrapped and bought. However, my heart tells me that Christmas can’t come. Christmas can’t come when dirty laundry and dirty dishes line the inside of my house. Christmas can’t come when my to do list is still long. Christmas can’t come when I’m hurting. Christmas can’t come when inside I’m a hot mess. Even though I haven’t solved my problems or cleaned up my life, Christmas will come.
I dread Christmas this year, when I know for the first time in my life, my brother won’t be there. Yet, I’m thankful for Christmas. I am thankful that Christ came. He came into my world filled with dirt. He came into my life, despite my messiness. He came to be with me when I’m lonely and sad. He came to be with me when I’m angry and grouchy. He came down from his throne to be with me. He came to celebrate with me and to wipe my tears. I may not be ready for Christmas, but I’m ready to spend time with Emmanuel. God is with us even when we don’t feel like celebrating.