One of our family’s favorite Christmas decorations is a 3-foot tall angel (see picture). It is a magnificent piece of art with an intricately woven gown, feathered wings that pulse and glow, and a beautifully crafted porcelain face. It’s been our family tradition to place the angel inside our house near the entry to greet our guests and to remind us of the real meaning of Christmas.
One day a few years ago our then-new puppy Izzy came bounding around the corner and ran smack into the angel, sending it tumbling to the floor. The face of the angel was shattered into several pieces, leaving a gaping hole that made the angel unpresentable. My wife tried covering the face with a veil, but it was readily apparent that it would never be the same. It was simply beyond our ability to fix it.
Bruce is a family friend and a skilled artist who has won awards for his carvings and artwork. When he first noticed the angel and its broken face, he offered to take it with him to see what he could do. We gladly agreed and entrusted the angel into the hands of this capable artist.
Several months later Bruce presented us with the angel and we were astonished and amazed at beauty of the restored piece. The angel’s face had been skillfully re-sculpted and intricately painted. When you look close you can still see minor evidence of the angel’s past encounter with our dog, but Bruce managed to bring even more beauty and character out of the face in these angelic scars.
All of us are like that angel.
Sometimes life collides with us and leaves us with gaping holes in our hearts, minds, and bodies that are beyond our ability to heal or make better. Sometimes our own decisions and choices have left us with lives that seem unfixable.
- And we feel unpresentable to God and other people.
- Or we try to hide our deep wounds by putting on a brave face even though we haven’t come close to fixing what’s broken inside us.
- And we wonder if we will be forever left unpresentable in the garbage pile of life.
The Good News of Christmas is that God came to earth to seek and restore broken people like you and me.
Jesus’ life is marked by episode after episode of His reaching out and touching people who were outcast, sick, broken by life, hurt and rejected by other people, or derailed by their own disastrous choices.
He is still in the business of doing that today. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.”
The essence of worship is that God loves you and me so much that He desperately wants to touch us so we can be renewed, restored, and recreated in Him. This can only happen when we turn to Him and allow Him to touch the good, bad, and ugly in us and make us new, presentable and even resplendent. He is the Divine artist who can make beautiful things out of shattered lives.
God’s restoration process is rarely an instantaneous thing, but like Bruce working on our family’s angel, He slowly rebuilds us and creates something epic and amazing out of the ashes of our life.
Like our family’s angel I have experienced God’s restoration from life’s collisions and my own poor choices, and now have the beautiful scars that remind me of His love and touch that have healed me again and again.
There is new meaning in the song Christmas angels sang as I remember what God has done in my life:
“Peace on earth to those on whom God’s favor rests.”
I invite you to enter that new and exciting journey with God. He is ready and willing to re-create you, no matter how devastated your life and current circumstances may be. Just like the shepherds who heard the angels, please consider seeking God for yourself:
“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
O Come let us adore Him.