There is a commercial that comes on all the time that sends a chill up my spine every time I see it. The scene is of a woman giving herself (in many forms) a pep-talk about how she can do it all. She can get everything done for Christmas because its up to her to make Christmas great for her family. I have no idea what this ad is trying to sell, which is the case for most modern advertising, but this one sticks with me.
It sticks because it’s playing into the absolute absurd notion that we, as moms, have a one job at Christmas, and that is to run ourselves ragged making it magical for everyone in our family. We must be prepared for anything and everything at all times, without fail.
This reality sits anxiously on the shoulders of each and every mom this time of year.
I felt it this weekend when I realized a terrible error in our plans made for us being double booked and my kids would potentially have to miss seeing their cousins on Christmas. The disappointment and feelings of failure radiated through my bones, not just for an instant or evening but until the problem was finally fixed a few days later and we were able to balance our schedule again.
If your anything like me, you’ve definitely starred blankly at your calendar at least three times this month just soaking in all the things. Because there are so many things. And you’ve probably forgotten some of the important stuff already, like the costume for the School pageant and the baking for the fundraising bake sale, and the gift card for the bus driver. I certainly have.
How do we do it all and what if something gets missed? If you don’t happen to be a super laid-back mom who takes everything in stride and looks good doing it and your anything like me, which is the exact opposite of that unicorn-of-a-mom than you are recognizing the seriousness of the home-stretch of this day. Today, the week before Christmas. This is the last week to get it all done. And you may be weary and wondering what the point of any of it even is.
I ask you to take a moment. Breath in and out and ponder 1 Kings 8 with me. Read it here.
Let me set another stage. Solomon has brought the Ark of the Covenant into the now-complete Temple, and says a prayer of dedication in honor of the momentous occasion. Because the moment was indeed momentous as the presence of the Lord would now reside in the Temple. This was historic for the Israelites and everyone present would have known it.
But then Solomon starts to pray. And he utters these words,
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!”
Solomon understood the greatness of his God and he admits the inadequacies of his own hands. The Temple was an architectural masterpiece. Solomon could have thought himself a genius for constructing such a building. He could have thought himself as one of the greatest Kings ever to walk the earth as he built the structure the Lord would reside in. But he doesn’t.
He knows his little Temple could never contain his grand God. He knows his sinful hands could not erect a home big enough for the Lord.
And yet, the Lord chose to dwell among them in this fashion.
Think of Jesus becoming flesh. Becoming a child. His mother and father could touch Him and hug Him. His disciples could sit at His feet and learn from Him. He became flesh, fully human and fully God.
He chose to dwell among us this way. Even though His grandness surpasses all of our understanding. Even though He holds all things together, and with His words creates and calms. He chose to become bound by skin, so that He could not only have compassion on us, but be empathic to our struggle. So He could bare our sin and die.
He is that good and that grand. No temple can contain Him and yet he dwelt among us. For us. His people. Who need Him so desperately.
Dear weary mom, the magical Christmas you are trying to create pails in comparison to the majesty of Christ. And thats ok. If you find yourself paralyzed by the to-do-list (or you haven’t been able to get passed me mentioning giving a gift to the bus-driver), sit down, walk away from your calendar, breath and take in the Saviour.
It’s not up to you to make Christmas magical.
Jesus already did that.