This is the blog post I wrote today for My Saint My Hero’s blog and I wanted to re-share it here as I found Fr. Mike’s message so poignant and relevant during this last week as we prepare for Christmas.
Fr. Mike from Ascension Press is one of my favorite priests to listen to. He has the gift of taking important theological teachings and explaining them in a way that is relatable and easy to understand. Today, I want to share his video about Christmas with you in case you haven’t watched it yet. Not only is it humorous but also has a very deep and important message.
“There’s something about when we approach the Lord that we want to give Him our best…of course we do. I want to play my best for Him. Of course you do… that’s awesome. That’s so great. But I’m going to invite you to do this new thing this Christmas. This Christmas don’t just give God your best, I want you to give God your worst. Because what did Jesus come to do? Yeah, He came to redeem our best and make it even better, but He also came to take our worst, and set us free…”
During the holidays it’s easy to fall into the temptation of “putting on appearances”. Appearance to have the perfectly decorated home, the perfect outfits and gifts, the perfect party…the perfect Christmas. We want the best of everything because, well, Christmas deserves the best, right? There’s nothing wrong in wanting to give God our best, as long as it’s for God and not for the sake of our own vanity. Fr. Mike reminds us, although it is so good that we want to give God our best, God also wants our worst. Now there’s the challenge.
“If you have real pain in your life, real abandonment in your life, if you have real sin in your life, if you have real brokenness and wounded-ness in your life… that actually makes you more qualified to celebrate Christmas than someone who doesn’t. Because why? Because the Lord, He takes our best and desires our best, but He also desires our worst. This Christmas play your best for Him. Let him have it, give it to Him, offer it up to Him…but also give Him your worst. Play your worst for Him. Give Him even the things of your life that you are not proud of, that you’re actually ashamed of maybe, because if we do that, then we give Him our lives, we give Him our all… and then everything is able to be redeemed.”
I hope this message gives you hope as it did for me. May this Christmas be a time when we can come before God just as we are, with our best and our worst. He wasn’t born in a lofty castle but a lowly stable so everyone could approach Him, so we can approach Him as we are, without fear.