Lonely women looking at snowfall through big glass window

I really don’t know why I like the commercial of Lady Gaga singing, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” with Tony Bennett in Barnes & Noble, but I do.

I can’t explain why I won’t go to church on Christmas Eve to watch the church children follow the donkey with the specially-picked child who gets to play Mary – great with child – riding on the donkey, with the second specially-picked child – Joseph, proudly walking along side – but I won’t.

I don’t know why I will spend hours on the Internet trying to find gifts for my mom and dad, daughter and son that will rock their worlds with meaning – knowing that they will probably return the gifts for cash or re-gift at a holiday party, but I will.

I don’t think one of my clients notices the Christmas wreath on my counseling door or the few, tasteful decorations I’ve carefully placed in my office. Why would they notice when they are talking about husbands who cheat, mothers who neglect, or parents who don’t remember their life stories anymore? I don’t know why I place reminders of a holiday when most who visit my office are grieving every day, but I do.

I don’t know why I pulled a tag from the Giving Tree at church this year. I don’t have any extra money, and I pulled a tag for a ten-year-old girl who wants a Disney Party Enchanted Christmas Game for $25.00. It just so happened that the woman in front of me in the unreasonably slow line at Target was buying a Giving Tree gift too – a Barbie as Rock ‘n Royal Princess Doll. We commiserated about the long lines and she confided that we couldn’t really trust a young clerk with a tongue piercing.  I told her, “I think it’s the ones without piercings we should worry about.” I don’t know why I said that, but I did.

I don’t even know why I celebrate Christmas. I seldom buy the right gifts for the people I love or get the ones I really want. I’m resentful when I’m still paying my credit cards off in March. I have not watched a Christmas television special I have ever liked. And those Hallmark Christmas Movies? I think we all feel ambiguous about them.

And then somehow in the midst of long lines and cheesy movies and expensive, ridiculous presents I remember . . . that Jesus chose, without a single ounce of ambiguity, to be born in a stable, smelling of unambiguous dung. He knew that in His first Christmas he would be cradled in a trough, wrapped in rags that no Barbie would ever wear. From the moment He was born, conspiracies grew into plots to kill this Christmas babe.  No ambiguity there.

His birth was heralded without ambiguity to drunken shepherds stumbling after a Star, who somehow knew in the midst of their inebriated ambiguity that it was true – this birth was good news in a world filled with prejudice, conspiracy, murder, war, hate, and inevitable doom.

The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born . . .

And so if your heart is filled with ambiguity about this crazy Christmas season, join me in:

*Renouncing the prejudice that Jesus just came for those who look like us.
*Laughing at the grandest conspiracy of all – the conspiracy to love us even when we do everything possible to prove we are not lovable.
*Birthing life – whether it’s to the woman complaining about the pierced, inept clerk at Target or the tired, dedicated receptionist at Planned Parenthood.
Waging peace by finding ten minutes – just ten minutes – to remember that Christmas baby born into the middle of wars that do not seem will ever end – was called the Prince of Peace. What if He is? Then I am willing to exchange every ounce of my war-torn heart for ten minutes flung into His arms. Ten minutes of unambiguous peace can carry me a long way.
*Breathing love. I don’t really need to explain that. You know when your heart is bent toward love in the presence of an obnoxious know-it-all, a materialistic narcissist, a self-important Christmas spirit hurrying to get to the front of the line . . . . or a weary, idealist who really wants to believe in Christmas.
And going after hope as if our lives depended on it – because they do. In the middle of the dark of night, stand in your driveway or apartment parking lot or sidewalk spot in line for the Rescue Mission, and look for that Star – that Star that does not just shine, but it sings: “God is not dead, not does He sleep. Peace on earth. Good will to men.”

There is nothing ambiguous about that.