Advent Reflection: Messy

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year.  Not so much because of all the stuff, like decorations and presents and parties (though I like these too), but because of the story.  The advent story is so full of goodness.  I hear it every year, and each year I learn more. 

This year I have been thinking about how messy it all was.  Mute old man, pregnant teenager, displaced families, murdered infants, and on and on.  I know, we like to make it all clean.  Silent nights, pretty cradles, and clean animals.  But Jesus was born in a cave surrounded by stinky animals and I am pretty sure he cried.  For songs about Jesus birth I much prefer this song, from Behold the Lamb of God

Things were not just messy on earth as a consequence of Jesus coming down to us.  They got messy in heaven too.  Take a look at Revelation 12 if you want to know what I mean.  We dare not forget this side of Christmas.

You might wonder why I have been thinking about this.  Let me tell you (I know, your thought I wasn't going to, right?).  Partly it is a reaction to the way our culture portrays Christmas and the Advent story.  More importantly, it is because I find this messiness very encouraging. 

God loved us so much that He became a man and died for us, and part of that is His willingness to get messy on our behalf.  It also encourages me because out of all that messiness and broken-ness, God brings something good.  That is who God is, that is how He works, to take what is bad (and it really is bad; it is not made good in itself because of what God will do with it) and redeem it, bring forth something good out of it.  

I have hope for my own life because of what God has done for me and because of how God works.  

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