It was a dance performance based on the Christmas story, held at a local church. I was unaware it was on, in fact it was my first time in this particular church.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year. Festive celebrations, arrival of summer, great food and holidays. And of course it’s celebrating Jesus. Thinking about the nativity scene, what impacts me the most this year, is as the title to this post says.. ‘beauty in a smelly place’. Beauty in the stable. Beauty found in the place of dirt, animal odour, and darkness. It’s Jesus, the King of kings, the Saviour, God’s Son born not in granduer and luxury, but in the humble surroundings of a barn. It also reminds me of a verse..
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3″
As I sat watching that production, I was not in a grand theatre. There was no multi-million dollar staging. It was a simple church building. Kids sat on the floor at the dancers feet… Yet the beauty in those costumes moved me the most. The juxtaposition of beauty found in the place of the simple , represented to me the power that exists in God’s beauty. Beauty that transforms, that heals, that displaces. _______________________________
Have you been in a season of mourning? In a place of despair? Do you feel aspects of your life, your dreams, your year has burnt to a pile of ashes? As Jesus was born in that stable, so He is able to visit you in your place of humility. In your chaos and pain.
He Is beauty. And His beauty is powerful. Ask Him to come into the places of decay, that He may transform, beautify, and redeem.
And may you have a blessed Christmas!