I should put a checklist on my phone labeled: Things to pack when going to the park…
If I had said list, a towel would be at the top!
I always think about bringing a towel to the park once I get to the park; which, in case you're wondering is too late!
Needless to say, the slide was wet.
From the top, it looked wet, but not really wet, so I decided to sacrifice my dry behind for the sake of my little guys happiness.
Let's just say the slide was more wet than it looked and as a result, my butt got more wet than I anticipated!
As we walked back home, him in the stroller and me pushing (wet behind and all), this song popped into my head "The things we do for love." (I pretty much have a song in my head for all occasions…good or bad, this is the one that got stuck!) From 1977 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SASnF0S6NpE
I must have looked ridiculous to the 3 other people that saw us on the way home…but that's what we do for love!
It's Christmas time and I'm reminded of the things God did for love.
Maybe not so much about what God did for love, but what God did to show love.
God got messy.
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14
God made his dwelling among us…messy people.
Now, maybe I'm not talking to you. Maybe your life is as neat and tidy as a home on the market, ready to be walked through at any time; but that’s not my life (or my home for that matter!).
I would argue, that neat and tidy life is not the life Jesus came to "dwell among" either.
Jesus says in Luke 5:31 "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Being sick is messy.
Being a sinner is messy.
Jesus came to dwell among sick sinners whose lives are messy…and that's all of us!
But He didn't come to just sit in the mess and do nothing; He came to clean it up!
God got messy when He put skin on and came to earth as a baby.
That baby got messy when He was born in a stable and placed in a manger. (clean straw or not, that had to be messy)
That baby got messy as he grew into a man who walked among the poor, the sick and the needy; healing the blind and restoring souls.
That Man got messy when He took on our sin and hung on a cross to die.
But here's the good news: that's where the mess ends!
"But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him." Acts 2:24 This baby Jesus, the one we celebrate at Christmas, was born for the purpose of going to the cross to take away our mess - our sin. A mess we have never been able to clean up. A mess, which in fact, gets messier the more we try to clean it up ourselves!
"How does Jesus clean up our mess, Andria?" you might ask.
First of all, he cleans up our mess by forgiving our sin. Our sin keeps us from having a relationship with God - but Jesus makes a way for that relationship to be restored because he died the death our sin deserves. We need only come to God, ask for his forgiveness through Jesus.
Second, the bible is full of promises and examples of how God brings good out of our mess (Romans 8:28)
One of my all-time favorite Old Testament passages in Isaiah 61 is repeated in Luke 4:
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
And recovery of sight for the blind,
To set the oppressed free,
and to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
Jesus concludes by saying "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
It's like he's saying "I'm the One...I'm here to clean up your mess today! Will you take me up on it??"
May the mess that might be your life this Christmas, remind you of the only One who cleans messes up for good; born in a stable, placed in a manger, hung on a cross and raised from the dead - for you. So that you and your mess might be cleaned up and set free!
The question is, will you trust him with your life…with your mess…today?