Radical Simplicity and a Beautiful, Messy Life

To The Christian Who Isn't Feeling it This Christmas

The lights and sparkles and gingerbread lattes aren't doing it for me this year.

Guys, I'm in a dark place this Christmas. I know I'm not the only one. This season seems to swell those broken and empty places inside of us.

But isn't Christmas a celebration of a God who meets us in our dark places?

I keep trying to prepare my heart for Christmas, to stir up some sort of peace and joy. But they didn't scrub up the stable for the King. No. Our Lord was born into a dark and filthy barn, in a dark and desperate time, into a world that didn't have room for him and welcomed him with a mass infanticide. Let's not sanitize it with nostalgia and the tame comforts of a familiar story. Our Lord was born into a shit-filled stable, and things pretty much went down hill from there.

Friend who is suffering right now, Christmas isn't all about joy. It's about a God who stepped into our suffering and chose to suffer for us.

Isn't that the remarkable thing about our faith? That we don't have a God who sits safely on a throne and takes pleasure in his distance from us, but a God who stepped into our pain and mess and isolation, and suffered so that He can be forever with us, both in the grief of this world and the joy of the next.

The babe that was born in that stable two-thousand years ago grew up to tell us that we are blessed when we mourn. That when we are broken-hearted we are truly blessed because we will be comforted by the all mighty God. And then He carried our sin to the cross and went to prepare a room for us. We had no room for Him in this Kingdom, but He is making a room for us in His.

Our Christmas celebration is not about seeking to possess some sense of joy or peace or comfort, but to be possessed by the spirit of God. God did not send us some warm and fuzzy feeling in the name of Christ, but the very Christ himself.

Friend who is suffering, whatever you are feeling in these final days before Christmas, there is space for that in Christ. His love is big enough in length, in height, in depth and breadth to contain all of your pain and all of mine with room left over.

Our pain is so often the sacred space in which we meet the Holy God. It is where we hurt the most that we will later build alters and remember the Lord's presence among us. Allow yourself that sacred space this Christmas. God is not calling us to some empty and strained expression of joy, but to rest in the safety of His enduring grace.

Friend, I invite you this Christmas to lay down all your expectations of merry and bright and just rest in the knowledge of God's abiding Love. And I pray that for a moment, your weary heart and mine, will rejoice at the fierce and present love, the incredible mystery, the unending grace, of a God King Baby who was born into a filthy stable for us. 

If not merry, I wish you a sacred Christ's Mass.  May you be acutely aware of Christ's presence in your pain. 

If this post touched your heart, will you share it? And thank you so much for reading my words, I am honoured.


  1. I keep wishing I could "like" your blog posts. Man, this is so spot on and incredibly encouraging. Thank you.

  2. I keep wishing I could "like" your blog posts. Man, this is so spot on and incredibly encouraging. Thank you.

  3. Kelly,

    I couldn't relate more with your post. This whole season has been really hard. Pain upon pain for me but I am glad there is room for me in all my brokenness that Christmas is not just for the joyful but for those whose only hope is that he came for all of us. It's over now (Christmas) but thanks for making room.

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