Merry Christmas from the Lee Family!
Dear friends,Words cannot express how much we love you all. It’s pure joy to wish you the merriest of Christmases this year. May the hope and peace of Jesus Christ be with you this day, and in the year ahead.
I am taking a short blogging break to enjoy the holiday with my family, but will return to this space the first week of January.
With joy and appreciation for each of you,
Scott, Jennifer, Lydia and Anna Lee
Christmas: A Story Crazy Enough to Believe
By Jennifer Dukes Lee
If the story weren’t so ridiculous, I don’t think I would have believed it.
I have been the skeptic, and maybe too often, the cynic. I see the holes. But this story? The one about a King born in a manure-caked stable? It was the absurdity of the story that I found most convincing.
I’ve been a news journalist since I was 16 years old. When I got to college, one of my crusty old journalism profs taught me this: “If your mother says she loves you, double-check it.”
I’ve always been able to smell a rat. And it first, that seemed like a curse, all this second-guessing of every fact and every story, and every shred of Gospel truth.
I used to think my doubt was like a cancer, like a tumor eating away at whatever shred of faith I had in the more sanitized Christmas-card version of the story. I hated my doubts, and the way they seemed to ruthlessly wring the faith out of my soul, leaving me like an old dishrag.
But, as it turns out, my doubt was a gift, I tell you. A real gift, maybe like a compass, orienting me back to the absurdity of the real story, the dirty and messy story.
Take a look again: the story of Christ’s birth looks like a public-relations disaster. I mean, if the writers really wanted us to believe this, they could have polished it up. They could have told us a real whopper, you know? To make sure we’d believe? They could have written that a Savior came to a palace, strutting down a red carpet, under some spotlights and flashing bulbs. CNN could have carried it live. That would have been the logical place to start.
But a barn? Really? Yeah. That’s it. It’s a messy, dark story for a messy, dark world.
You can’t make this stuff up. It’s a dirty, manure-reeking, no-room-for-you-in-the-inn story. It’s God-incarnate, birthed in a stable, in a feeding trough, in a mess — in a stinking, animal-shuffling, watch-where-you-step mess.
And if it were polished up, this sin-darkened dishrag of a soul would have never believed it. Not for a minute. But that’s always been the thing about truth. Truth has always been stranger than fiction, and it has always been truer, and it has changed actual people who kneel in awe at the side of a manger.
And if you stay there long enough, then just watch what happens next: That baby boy, He’s going to grow up in the story, and He’s going to grow up in your very own life.
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Merry Christmas! See you in 2016!
Merry Christmas, Jennifer! And a happy New Year! Loved this post! Before, I denied having doubts…now I let them come and they draw me closer to God as I turn toward, rather than away from Him.
I just love this. The birth of Jesus happened in complete keeping with God’s character – as He always seems to choose the foolishness of man to portray His wisdom. You’re right, a PR nightmare. An unbelievable story, unless you believe. Even the gospels present the death and resurrection of Jesus in slightly different views, as any eyewitness account would do. Not a manufactured, pre-determined, “OK, here’s what we’re all gonna say” story. But rather, the Truth, as witnessed by some pretty surprised and unsettled human beings!!
What matters is that it happened, all of it, in its rather messy glory!
Hope you and your family had a most Merry Christmas, and I wish all of you a very Happy New Year! Looking forward as you *tell His story* in 2016!
I hope you had a wonderful holiday.
Happy 2016! Better things for you and your family.
How wise of God to present his Son as an approachable Savior–not a wealthy and renowned Sovereign, removed from all the grime, hurt, and cruelty of this world. All praise to Jesus for relinquishing his royal status and “taking the very nature of a servant” — for us! Thank you, Jennifer, for helping us see again the crazy wonder of the Christmas story.