-Rev Melissa Fain-
I've had some Advent themes in the past. I've tied it into a devotional of ministerial colleagues, and I've done weekly themes. I've done Advent Goes to the Movies, and I've done Advent related to the parts of a tree. This year I want to relax, and do something kinda fun. I'm going to relate the Christmas season to Christmas tree ornaments. It may be one a week, or five. We'll play it by ear!
Our family will make a joke out of anything. Not at the expense of others. We're not that kind of family. Mostly at the expense of ourselves. Therefore, it shouldn't be too surprising that our humor makes it way over to our Christmas Tree.
Every year we pick an ornament that symbolizes our year. Last year's ornament perfectly captured the essence of our year.
In 2017 our septic tank exploded all over our house. Everything was stinky, including us. We couldn't get a plumber out to fix our problem, and we spent a good week without the ability to wash our dishes, clean our clothes or bath. It was pretty nasty near the end. Some of you shared our problem, when only a few weeks later many in our county was without water because of Snow-magedon.
So, the day after Thanksgiving, we were discussing what our yearly ornament would be. What big life event happened that warrants a specific ornament on our tree? Then my husband spoke up, "Oh, wouldn't it be hilarious if we found a poo emoji that looks like candy cane poo?" He quickly did a search and came up with the Christmas poo you see to your left. "Like this," he said, holding the image up so I could see, "but like a soft serve candy cane!"
I was sold at "soft serve candy cane." I went on the search. The idea was too hilarious not to exist, only... it didn't exist! It didn't matter how many places I searched, I couldn't find anything beyond the standard poo emoji ornament. (Yeah, they made those.) Talking it through with my husband, the answer was simple: We'd have to take the normal poo emoji, and paint it like it was a candy cane poo emoji. Both of us worked on it. A few failed attempts later, we had it. A merry reminder of a time we never wanted to relive again.
Sometimes we need to remember that life isn't just sunshine and roses, and sometimes Christmas is the most important time to remember it. Sometimes life is just throwing up crap. (Yes, sometimes that crap is literally being thrown up through a bad septic system, but sometimes that crap takes the form of other things, like family loss, or illness.) Crap comes whether you are ready for it or not.
It strikes me important that much of what Jesus said on earth was centered on dealing with adversity. Life's often tough, and life often sucks. That's simply true. You can either wallow in that crap, or do something productive with it. Turn it into manure, and cultivate it into something healthy and good. If you can't cultivate into something healthy, at least get it out of the way so healthy things can still grow. Jesus spent his short ministry helping people deal with and solve problems, not telling them they would magically go away.
This ornament is just a reminder that bad things do happen to good people, but Christ is there to walk through that crap with us.
Join me in prayer:
Sometimes liife stinks! Sometimes the crap piles up and I don't know how to deal. Help me find the tools to push it aside or turn it into something healthy.