On Sunday we looked at the reality of Jesus entrance into the world. And it should give us so much hope because Jesus shows up in the midst of a mess.
On the first Christmas there was family drama because as Mary and Joseph come home they end up staying…in an Inn. Which means they weren’t welcome at home. They were rejected while being nine months pregnant. They have travelled, are dirty, tired, sore, and now hurt. There is a chance for division between them as they talk about their families and the rejection. They can’t find anywhere to stay and Joseph must be wondering how am I to be a father to the messiah if I can’t even find us a place to stay. They end up in a barn with a manger. Jesus in a feeding trough. Jesus born in the midst of dirt, messiness, and family drama.
What I love about this is that Jesus decides to show up in the midst of a mess. So if in your family Christmas can bring with it some drama, division, and rejection. If in this Christmas your finances are in a mess, your personal relationships or your family, this doesn’t stop Jesus from showing up. Because God chose for Jesus to show up for the very first time when everything wasn’t perfect, pristine, and pretty. God chose Jesus to show up in the midst of a mess and to start to transform things from there.
So this Christmas, if your life is feeling a bit messy in places, then invite Jesus to show up there. Remember that messiness in our lives doesn’t stop Jesus from coming, because it’s the first place he chose to show up. And so if he chose way back then to show up in the midst of a mess…my theological guess is that your mess isn’t too big for him to show up there too…
So look for him, invite him, and trust that even in the midst of a mess the Messiah comes…
Teaching Notes (Download)
Big Idea: Jesus chooses to show up in the midst of our mess
- Advent is then a period of intense training that directs us decisively to the One who has already come, who will come and who continuously comes. Pope John Paul
- We tend to base our hope on our present reality…rather than the reality of Jesus.
- Even in the first Christmas there was a mess…family drama, division, and hurt feelings, but it doesn’t stop Jesus from showing up.
- Focus on Jesus to find him in the midst of a mess…
- We are far to easily pleased. C.S. Lewis
Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What stood out to you from this morning’s talk? What made you laugh? What made you think? What was new? Spend a moment and think and picture what it might be like in when Jesus was born. As you reflect on it, what strikes you? Where in your own life is there a bit of “messiness”? Do you believe and trust that God can show up there? What stops you from trusting in that truth? What helps you to trust in the truth that God wants to show up? How might you focus on him this Christmas season and not get distracted by the mess? When has Jesus shown up for you in the midst of a mess? How might he do it again this season?
Discussion Questions for Young Families: Read over the Christmas story with your family. Have the kids picture the story and share with them how Jesus came in the midst of a mess, that whenever we are in a mess he wants to be there with us too.
Challenge for this Week:
Decide on how to focus on Jesus this season