Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of Jesus. The birth of our Redeemer and the birth of Hope. The birth of a baby is beautiful, joyous, painful, and… messy. Can you imagine giving birth in a barn? I can’t even fathom what it must have been like! There was no sterile environment, just the floor of the barn and hopefully a bed of hay for Mary to lay on. There was no running hot water, just a muddy stable. There weren’t women there to help Mary birth Jesus– I am sure Joseph did his best. It’s a good bet that animals were the only witnesses to baby Jesus’ arrival. It was a messy endeavor at best. Why did it have to be so messy? Why did Jesus have to be born in this way? Why in a barn?
Because we are messy. You and me. We live in a messy place called Earth and we lead crazy, messy lives. Our world is a mess with racial tension, terrorist threats and guns all combining to wreak havoc on our hearts and lives. We live in the midst of yucky stuff: broken relationships, bitterness, squabbling children, depression, tight budgets, tiredness, and some of us have spit up on our shirts. Our lives are complicated, broken, and messy and we can’t simplify, mend, or clean it all up.
Jesus is peace; He is not messy. Jesus was born pure and holy and He stayed that way in the midst of a messy world. He was born into a world of mess to be our Rescuer, to make the way to God a more simpler route. He came to mend our broken hearts and lives, and to be the final atonement so that God sees us as clean and welcomes us into His kingdom. See, Jesus is okay with coming into a mess and will give us what we need to fix our messes. He will help us forgive, help us be patient and enable us to become more disciplined. Actually, to become more like Him. More holy and less messy.
We can’t hide our messes from God, He knows the areas of our lives that need work. If we truly seek to find Him, as the wisemen did that first Christmas, then He will reveal to us the messes we are hiding from ourselves. The way to become more like Jesus, more holy and less messy, is to know Him. He wants nothing more than to hang with messy me -with messy you.
As you celebrate Christmas this year, remember the messy stable and the holiness that resided there; remember the Savior born to redeem us from our messiness to live victorious lives. Celebrate this sacrifice, this redemption by striving to know Jesus better. There’s no better way to celebrate.