|Stafford Christmas 2015 - Intersection of Main and Broadway, the "main drag"|
But there is beauty in simplicity, too. Too often, I get distracted by the hubbub and the "noise." The thing that is "squeaking" the loudest captures my attention first. That to-do list with items still not crossed off seems to scream the loudest right now.
Mary was a young, unwed mother. She had her first baby - not in a well-appointed delivery room - but in a stable with animals all around. She laid Him in a manger filled with straw, not a crib with sheets that matched a nursery theme. It wasn't all that pretty.
How can we, in the midst of our culture's conspicuous consumption and demand for perfection, turn our focus on the Child who was born into poverty as a sign of hope and salvation for a broken world? While it may seem the world demands perfection, the Gospel message demands nothing from us. Rather, God invites us to gather around the manger just as we are: unfinished lists, burnt pies and all. No matter our imperfections, great or small, God invites us to peek into the manger and gaze at the real Christmas message: That Christ came for us all to be a beacon of hope for the hopeless and to bring peace.
Rev. Amy Slater,
Stafford UMC newsletter, Christmas 2012
O God, prompt me to shine a light on Christ’s coming through my words and actions.So maybe not every single treat will get made. Perhaps the dusting won't stand the "white glove test." And it will still be OK. It will be better than OK ...
From Sight Psalms
Maybe I should be nearsighted in another way, too. Rather than looking at the big picture, I should remember the central message.
|A treasured nativity from friends|
These two photos taken at Stafford United Methodist Church