The fire is warm and we sit around after dinner watching old home movies. I see my husband for the first time as a chubby little toddler, a shoot ‘em up cowboy, and an architect of whole cities made of sand.  In one scene I watch my father-in-law scoop up my husband and his brother and cover their heads with kisses.  I can hardly watch for the tears stinging my eyes.  My father-in-law was larger than life. He left a legacy of integrity, character, and devotion to family that is rarity. I miss his hugs. His words of wisdom.  Him.

 

As I wash dishes and tidy up the kitchen, I think of the standard my father-in-law set.  He did such a good job.  I’m not sure I measure up. 

 

I fall short. Daily. Continuously.  As a wife, mother, daughter, friend…Christian, I fall short. 

 

Isn’t that why Christ came?  

 

 

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 

  Matthew 1:18-21

 

 

God, who created the Universe, took the form of a baby and came down to us.  The fallen ones.  Because He loved us.   Loves us.

 

He exchanged Glory for a smelly animal shelter. He took on all the limits and frustrations of flesh and bone. Hunger. Sickness.  Death.  He was nailed to a Roman cross… all for us.

 

It is an incomprehensible Love. I can hardly grasp it. 

 

It is the love of a holy, perfect Father who scoops us up and covers us… with grace.  With mercy.  With kisses.