At times, I try to pack Jesus away from the rest of my life. I’m not sure I want to give him control over how I spend my time or my money. I think I can handle my messes on my own. I'm not really sure I want his opinion on how I'm acting. It’s easier at times to compartmentalize him from the rest of my life. Jesus can make life so messy. Sometimes he wants me to reach out to someone when it isn’t convenient. Other times he says things like, “If you are having conflicts in any of your relationships, leave your gift on the altar and go make things right.” (My version of Matthew 5: 23-24). He asks me to give up my need for control and to keep him at the center of my life. He wants me to follow him instead of following MY schedule.
Don’t worry about having a perfect Christmas. Let the mess be part of the joy. The unexpected, untidy parts of our lives keep us open to God’s leading. The Archbishop of Canterbury said, “I'm never sure whether to wish anyone a peaceful Christmas, because it hardly ever is. But I can wish you joy in the midst of the mess, and every blessing from the God of ordinary, untidy, surprising things.”
I took Jesus out of the box and placed Him in the center of the manger. Lord, help me to keep you the center of my life.