I have to admit that one line in Alex’s devotion this morning definitely resonated with me at the outset. He shared, “I don’t want to sound like a Grinch, but most Christmas music gets on my nerves pretty quickly. I’m willing to bet the reason is because the radio stations start playing these tunes too early.” I’m totally with him on that. I find that while I love the whole of Advent and Christmas, I don’t listen to a lot of the music. If I do, it is usually the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas. The rest of Alex’s devotion also spoke to me and what I heard in it was about simplicity. The simple gathering of families. The moving beyond all the trappings of the season. The simplicity of a community of faith gathering and singing Silent Night by candlelight and most of all the simplicity of what it means for a sick child from Ronald McDonald House to be able to spend Christmas at home rather than in the hospital. He writes:
The last place any kid wants to spend any time is in a hospital. Seeing the excitement on these kids’ faces when they know they are going home for Christmas puts a smile on my face. These same families help put my “problems” into perspective when I think I am having a bad day. I try to use this aspect of my job towards helping others and sharing love any way possible.
Simplicity. Maybe this is why this is one of our favorite nativity sets. It is one that was made from the wood from one of the pews from my grandparents’ church and so it has a story connected to it. But it is simple – simple figures carved out of wood – no details just shapes but enough to tell the simple story of God coming into the world in the person of Jesus. A story of simple love poured out. And yes, Joseph is missing – he was accidentally left at home when I brought this set to my office…Thank you Alex for the reminder of the importance of simplicity in this season.