There is the mess in the kitchen that comes with baking and cooking a turkey dinner; all the clutter of the unwrapped gifts as well as the noise of people coming and going but that is not the mess I’m thinking about… Christmas is a lot about family and can be messy because it is packed with emotions. Any time family and friends come together, expectations, disappointments and hurts can show up as well, along with the joy and fun of the Christmas season. There are also the awkward silences for the “missing ones”… those that have passed away or have left the family because of divorce or fractured relationships.

At the same time, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. The prophet Isaiah describes Jesus as “the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) In the messiness of Christmas, Jesus, the “Prince of Peace” can bring peace to our challenging family relationships. In fact that is why he showed up! Jesus came to help us understand God’s love and forgiveness. To let us know there is an eternal plan and purpose for our lives. This is a priceless gift found nowhere else. He never promised that the messiness would go away but that he would give us the wisdom and strength to live with his peace in this messy world of shattered relationships.

Question: Have you received the gift of God’s love and forgiveness made possible through Jesus? It will transform every relationship. My story might encourage you and help you understand how this gift has transformed the messiness of my life, so I am able to say to you, Merry Christmas!

Written by Mike Woodard

Mike Woodard

Mike is married to Karen, he is father of 4 and grandfather of 2. Backpacking is his favourite past time. Science and theology are his educational background, a biology degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in Christian Studies from Trinity Western Seminary. Mike is the Associate Director of FamilyLife Canada. For more of his story visit