Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Our Christmas Laundry

It was at our Women's Christmas brunch. We were listening to The Laundry Lady talking about the birth of Christ.

She had many things to say about finding something new in the Christmas Story. She started her presentation talking about humbling 'hand me down' clothes, and 'swaddling' clothes. Describing swaddling clothes and burial clothes as essentially the same - she reminded us that they are the 'hand-me-down' clothes that we wear as Christians.

She asked if we were as prepared for the birth of the Savior, as Mary and Joseph had been. Mary would have been prepared, she said, as they set forth to travel. She would have packed the things she'd need at the birth, including His swaddling clothes.

This is the piece of the story that stuck with me: Mary and Joseph were just 'regular people'. And, oh how I loved the literary license she took to illustrate this point.

She said that we all worry that the poor Baby was born in a dirty stable, with a rickety manger to lay in. She advocated that it might not have been as bad as we think. After all, His parents would want the best for their Son.

She said that Joseph - like any other father - would be needing a 'project' to keep him occupied - and out of Mary's hair - as the birth of his child neared. Being a carpenter, she envisioned, he likely focus on creating a solid manger for the Child.

She then went on to say that Mary would likely be "nesting" in their home-away-from-home. Tiding up the stable to the best of her ability. Preparing for the birth. "Joseph, move that cow - it'll be too close to the manger", she imitated. (oh yes, I laughed....I've nested as well!)

We were reminded that what was different about the birth of Christ was The Baby Himself. Not his parents. The Baby.

At the end, she asked us which was our "Christmas Laundry" - the swaddling / burial / 'hand-me-down' clothes of Christ - or the cute little elf suits that hung merrily on the back of her laundry rack.

May I treasure my 'hand-me-down' clothes...

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