Christmas is always a day of expectations. Little ones are excited about what is wrapped in bright paper under the Christmas tree. Older ones are looking forward to time to connect and remember and have a need meet that they can't quite name, but hope will happen today. Believers expect to meet with the Messiah and rejoice and feel close to Him on this His celebration day.
The hours of the day click by and some expectations are met and others are not. One minute there is joy, but another can be ache. And after the hours trickle by and the evening settles I take stock. There has been joy. Smiles on kids' faces. Laughter and moments spent playing and building and cuddling. There have been conversations with family members over the computer. There has been quieter time with a good friend. There has been time to read and be still and be amazed that God would come and dwell with us, that He would come to pursue us, and begin that pursuit in the humblest of fashions.
But there has also been mess. There has been whining and tantrums, lost pieces and lost patience. There has been crushing- crushing of torn paper and crushing of hopes to spend time with a loved one. And my mouth which gave thanks for God's gift of Jesus has also spoken angrily and greedily to another instead of bowing lower and putting his needs first. The same heart which looked for Him, did not let Him in to change viewpoints and emotions.
But the wonder of the day after Christmas is that Jesus is STILL Immanuel. He still dwells with us. His Spirit resides in those that have relationship with Him. He doesn't say, "You blew it. So that's it. I'm out of here." He doesn't just stay for the warm fuzzy moments. He stays for the ugly angry moments, too. He remains in the mess and says, "Come to me. Repent. I will clean up the mess and help you with the consequences." And we can expect this and not be disappointed.
Thank you, Immanuel. I need you to dwell with me today, to change my mess and to transform me into what you desire.