The Balance of Beauty and Broken

Written in December of 2014

There is a part of scripture that I rarely hear about during this season
It is a part of the Christmas story
A painful part
It won’t make it in any plays or nativity scenes
It is Matthew 2:16-18
The slaughter of the innocent
When King Herod feeling threatened
Kills the male children under two years of age.
It is in the same chapter as the shepherds and wise men coming
Yet we stop
We edit it out
Why?
Brooks and I have had a really hard year.
Through the traumatic birth of our daughter and Brooks almost not making it
The death of our last Grandparent, 2 weeks after our daughters birth
Then the death of my close friend and brother Gavin
We are broken, mournful, tired and longing
I relate to the mourning and lamenting mothers and fathers in Matthew 2
More than I do the shepherds in Matthew 2
I think we edit the Christmas story because we only want to see beauty
Yet Brokenness is part of the Christmas story too
It isn’t wrong to see the beauty of Christmas
It is wrong to not acknowledge the brokenness that surrounded Jesus’ birth
A country in oppression
A community of fathers and mothers suffering tragic death
And in the midst of that,
Jesus came
Immanuel
God with us
Perhaps this year, more than others
I don’t relate to beauty
I relate to broken
Christmas trees are pretty
This year I need Jesus
I need his healing
I need Immanuel
Not just a manger
But a Savior
We edit the Christmas story to be this pretty encouraging 15 min program
In doing so we alienate many who cannot relate to that
We alienate those who are hurting
Those that are broken
The build up to the first Christmas was not one of excitement and shopping
It was one of pain and hardship
It showed our need for help
For a Savior
Christ came in the context of brokenness not celebration
Yes we celebrate now, but let us not pretend that the suffering did not exist.
For if we do
We are only seeing half of the picture
If we ignore the brokenness
We won’t fully appreciate the beauty
We won’t fully see why He came
Why he was called
Immanuel
God with us
In the midst of the brokenness
We are not alone
We need Him
And He is there
In the midst of my brokenness this year
And always

The song that encapsulates this most for me is O Come O come Emmanuel
If you have a minute, stop and listen to this instrumental
Be willing to see the broken, but see the harmony of the beauty
That pain is not the main part of the story
The Savior is

May God bless you and keep you
May God cause His face to shine upon you
And give you peace