Star of Bethlehem by Edward Burne-Jones

Star of Bethlehem by Edward Burne-Jones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(For Christmas, this post is a day early.) I think human hearts are like stables. They can be dark, chaotic, and filthy, but can also be well-swept and rich in ordinary earthiness.

There’s an unexpected treasure to be had, camouflaged and swaddled right in the midst of life’s dung.

I used to miss out simply because there was no room in my spirit for Christ-like love of self and neighbor. Even among Christians, it’s often inadvertently sent to the barn.

It’s so easy to be sucked into a life-style of insistent, angry arguments or a need to crush opponents. It’s easy to believe that it’s necessary to forcefully defend ideas, feelings, or whatever feels threatened. A quickly-offended, anxious spirit that sees only the cold, hard facts of life can take control and color everything with in-your-face disgust or dark shame.

But that spirit is vanquished once we realize we can make room for a personal sense of gracious, gentle power and intelligent strength of character able to love even people we don’t like (including ourselves).

It’s a king of an idea disguised as an infant that grows within a virgin-like humanity ignorant of what God’s been doing—and is still doing—in the world. When it grows up, fully mature and practiced, mankind will be sound of heart, mind, and body. We’ll finally be free of sorrow and frustration.

What a treasure! This is the glory of God and the tremendous hope we have in Christ in ordinary, everyday living on this planet—today and in ages to come.

It took me long enough, but I finally understand. There really are glad tidings of great joy, for unto us is born this day a child. Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let Earth receive her king; let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing!

Merry Christmas wherever you live!