This year my son, Kyle, and I enjoyed making some Christmas decorations together, with some interesting results! As Christmas drew closer, the time came to display some of our home-made creations, yet I was left with a dilemma; how on earth would I integrate our less than perfect attempts amidst the perfection of the shop-bought and well rehearsed Christmas decor that I have spent years honing and refining to look ‘just right’?
As I considered this conflict between the perfect and the less than perfect, I experienced the merest glimpse of what it must have been like for Jesus to come to this world.
The perfect Jesus was born into a messy stable, a messy situation and a messy world. There was nothing easy or relaxed about His start in life, even His very life was threatened. Jesus was born into a huge bundle of fear, turmoil, shame and poverty.
As He grew, He ministered to the messy people... the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the thieves, the outcast, and the lepers. It was the perceived ‘perfect people’ of the day who struggled with this ‘messy’ lifestyle. And they were never happy to see Him bring hope and healing to those who really needed it.
I’m now considering my own life. Do I try to hide the messy bits from Jesus, displaying only the good bits that I think look acceptable? Yet the Christmas message is one of perfection reaching down into mess and saying, “I want to be there - in the mess, in the pain, in the shame, in the fear, in the places others consider unacceptable. That’s where I want to be. That’s why I came to earth from heaven.”
As I celebrate our Saviour’s birth this year I will look at the less than perfect creations of mine and Kyle’s and know that God loves the imperfect. I will treasure the truth that, in His perfection, He came into a mess, and He offers hope to the hopeless, love to the loveless and peace to those in turmoil.
If you want to give God a gift beyond price this Christmas, give Him your mess, for that’s why Jesus was born and that’s why He went to the Cross and died.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for coming to earth in a messy way. You entered this world of mess because You are the answer to it all. This Christmas, I give You a gift; the gift of the mess I’ve been hiding from You, so Your love and light can shine in those dark places. Amen.
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