12 words till Christmas · Mess

4 words till Christmas… messy…

Messy… with 4 days till Christmas…
I can relate to this word…

Things half done… is the theme of the day…
and… Christmas… it’s just messy…

Beginning with messy relationships…

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way.
When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together
she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph,
being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
Matthew 1:18-19 ESV
The joy of an approaching wedding…
to the mess of an unexpected pregnancy…
and a quiet divorce
When was the last time you heard of a quiet divorce…?
Can you even imagine what this unexpected Babe did to the relationships between Mary and her parents…? neighbors…? friends…?
Messy…

And a birth in a barn… messy…
it’s messy enough in a clean hospital delivery room…
but a barn…?!
And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths
and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Luke 2:7 ESV
The groan of labor pains…
the lowing of a cow… the braying of an ass…
The breaking of water… the flowing of blood…
the excrement of donkeys… and calves… and goats…
Messy…

But life has been messy since the Fall in the garden…
we try to clean up the mess ourselves…
pursuing perfection… happiness… peace…
in the next best thing… in what the world has to offer…
leaving more messes in our wake…
But like preparations for Christmas…
things often get messier… before they get better…
Jesus’s life was messy… because of the Fall…
persecuted because He hung out with those whose lives looked like a mess…
prostitutes…
tax collectors…
lepers…
and the like…
The proper perfect religious leaders didn’t get it…
didn’t understand the mess…
or embrace their own very messy hearts…
Jesus’s life began messy… (just like all of us…)
with the flow of water… and blood…
and it ended the same…
crucified on a cross…
alongside two thieves…
Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain
on the cross on the Sabbath… the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken
and that they be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first,
and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus
and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers
pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.
John 19:31-34 ESV
The Jews in preparation of the Sabbath…
wanted nothing messy hanging around…
so they requested the legs of the crucified be broken…
You see… crucifixion is a slow excruciating death… which could take days…
From exhaustion… the executed can no longer lift himself up on his nail-pierced feet… in order to breathe air into his lungs… ultimately… suffocation claims his life… 
To break the legs… was to hurry the death… eliminating the ability to breath…
But Jesus had already finished His time on the cross…
claimed it Himself… and committed His Spirit to His Father…
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture),
“I thirst.”… When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,”
and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19:28, 30 ESV
He came down to get messy with us…
so He could make the way for us to clean up…
find the perfect we long for… pursue…
He alone makes the Way…
for us to overcome the messy…
Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes
that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he who came by water and blood — 
Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood.
1 John 5:5-6 ESV
So if you find yourself in the middle of a mess this Christmas…
messy relationships…
messy lives…
messy rooms…
remember… He is right in the middle of the mess with you…
waiting to clean it all up…
Messy… an Advent word…
a word of life…
a word of Christmas…
Praise Him for embracing messy…
so we might get cleaned up…

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