Who or what comes to mind when you think of a messy life?
The drug addict?
A nasty divorce?
Death of a loved one?
The murderer? Rapist?....
We all have some kind of mess in our lives. Life just has a tendency to get messy. Some try run from their own mess. Most of us run from other peoples messiness. We don't want to be bothered, involved or thought of in association with anothers problems or sin. So we run. Easy fix, right?
Ever notice how Jesus led a messy life?
He was conceived by an unwed teenage mother. In Bible times, disgrace in one of the highest degrees.
He was born in a stable. One of the most undesirable, humblest places. Is a stable where you'd want to give birth? Surrounded by smelly animals, with only the husband, first time dad, to help you & see you go through your first childbirth. Stables & childbirth are messy. Throw it all together while on a trip!... yup! That's mess!!
While still a baby, He was a hunted child. Hundreds of boy babies were murdered in search for Him. Imagine the panic, desperation, & fear all families with a boy child experienced. If I was in that situation, I might be willing to expose the hunted in order to save my own. I wonder if Joseph & Mary were also concerned about that? They must have felt great fear & loneliness as they escaped their home, not knowing whom to trust. What a mess!
At age 12, Jesus showed wisdom & knowledge beyond His years when speaking in the temple. Imagine being Jesus' peer or siblings. The one who did no wrong & kept growing in favor with God & men. Kids are mean creatures sometimes. He must have experienced scorn & mockery!
His parents, teachers & elders probably felt intimidated or unnerved by this child much wiser than themselves, & tried putting Him in His place. After all, He's not the adult here, right?!! Sounds like the makings for sticky situations!
Then, as an adult, He performed miracles, drove out demons, healed unhealable diseases & all manner of sicknesses, touched the dead & brought them to life, ate with sinners, an adulteress washed His feet...the list goes on & all of it brought on some kind of drama. Some kind of disorder. Yet He wasn't afraid of it! He invited, dined with, rubbed shoulders with, & touched mess every single day.
Then He died. Death is messy. His death was the bloodiest, most horrific of all; the way He died, the reason He died, for whom He died...it was all just a mess!
While Jesus saw more trouble than most of us ever want to experience, He still wants our botched up lives. He invites us to hand over our trash so He can heal, restore, & renew, establishing in us a beautiful, holy, unscathed picture of redemption!
So if Jesus got down & dirty for us, & we are to live like Him, we have no excuse to be separating ourselves from others who have dirt/sin/messiness in their lives. Yes, we must be aware of the dangers & temptations of putting ourselves in undesirable situations, but someone has to show them Jesus! Why not you?
This Christmas, invite someone not of your church or regular circles to dinner in your home, followed by an evening of family games. Or choose a family to bless with food & clothes. There are endless ways to shine your light for Jesus, but don't make your interaction with them about how much they need Jesus.
Don't preach to them. Simply show love & acceptance.
Jesus doesn't need us flashing a blazing floodlight around in His name. No, He's quite capable of attracting lost souls with a little heart aglow for Him!
Be that warm place, that little glow for someone this Christmas!