Adorning the gospel

We pulled out the Christmas tree today- it’s time for the annual work of decking the halls.

If I’m honest, it feels like a hassle sometimes. Dragging a fake tree up from the basement and finding burned out lightbulbs and covering it with shiny objects our toddler can’t touch... why????

But it’s worth it. And not just for the beauty of ol’ tannenbaum or to have a nice place to put the presents.  Celebrating Christmas is worth it because the incarnation is such astonishingly good news!

Jesus really did come. He really did become human. He really did walk among us and die for us so His Spirit could live in us! And that news is worth at least putting some effort into marking the season with beauty.

This week my mom and I were talking about what it means to adorn the gospel. To hold the gospel up to the light, so to speak, and let it sparkle. Jesus coming to save us is remarkable news and my fake evergreen definitely doesn’t make it more so- but my effort (done in the right spirit with the right focus) simply makes the truth sparkle a little more in our home and hearts. How can I adorn not just my home for Christmas, but my life for the glory of Jesus?

Tonight was also a special night as T’s older biological siblings came to our home for the first time.

Seven children. One set of four biological siblings overlapping with four adoptive siblings. Three children who have lived through such brokenness, three so protected, one sheltered from danger in God’s gracious plan.

Why? Why would God allow such suffering in some lives and spare others? It is beyond my understanding. God is God and I am not.

At bedtime I held my beautiful thirteen year old in my arms as tears rolled down her face. She was delightful tonight. She let herself be silly and play with a young girl who needed an older friend to put on a chef’s hat and pretend with her in a toddler kitchen- because she probably never played like that when it was age appropriate to do so. And now my daughter was crying tears of grief for our broken world. Tears of deeper understanding of just how ugly a scar sin has left in this world. Brokenness came to our house tonight and broke her heart a bit more.

This is not a bad thing.

I held her and understood the ache. And I told her the truth that has helped me through the years - I am not the Savior. I am not able to fix it. I am not able to carry it. All I am called to do is carry the little piece He has entrusted to me, love the person in front of me, freely share what He has given. That’s exactly what she did tonight with grace and beauty; she adorned the gospel. I feel confident to say He was so so pleased.

When we started our fostering journey six years ago I worried how it would affect our tender-hearted girl. It has affected her. She has loved freely and grieved deeply. She has seen brokenness up close. She has felt the weight of this sin-scarred world and it has left its mark.

And I wouldn’t change a thing. God has been faithful, He has guided her, He has grown and stretched her, He has given her wide open eyes to see and a heart willing to respond.

Grief is not a bad response. It is an appropriate response. Lord may it move us to love as you love. And may we grieve well- with hope- because one day all will be made right.

Because you came, we will go. Let's adorn the gospel, friends. Let it shine.

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