You know when you're getting ready for a party and you have more food to prepare than table to put it on and your kids are in the tub and overflow it so much it leaks through the living room ceiling and rains dirty water all over your carpet? And the whole day, cooking, whipping, chopping, cleaning, you have a sense of foreboding because your son is just getting the hang of potty training and you fear an impending accident? And then you discover, when you're stealing the last five minutes to dress and make yourself pretty, that your foreboding was right? So instead of fixing your hair and face you are wiping a (cute, if naughty) bum and praying the smell won't mingle with the scent of fresh cookies and sodden plaster. So you answer the door in the first dress you found and without a lick of makeup on and did I brush my teeth today? And somehow it doesn't matter, because God is teaching you something about hospitality. And you're impossibly slow to learn, and you need this lesson over and over and over ...
Hospitality is not about having a perfect house and perfect food and cute dishes and a great outfit and flawless makeup when I open the door. No. That's a photoshoot. Hospitality is about opening my door to friends and welcoming them in. Making them comfortable, looking out for their benefit, creating circumstances for their joy, definitely yes. But most of all? Taking pleasure in their presence.
He made it really obvious, didn't He? He came as selflessly as possible. He was born in a stable. He was poor. And He didn't spend a single drop of ink describing what He looked like. He veiled His glory. He didn't come among us to inspire our admiration.
Why did He do it then? Why did He choose to come to us?
For the joy that was set before Him.
What was that joy, exactly? Yes, you know it ...
The whole journey, the whole point of Christmas, the whole reason He came - He takes joy in our presence.
Soak that in, friends.