The Nativity story is one of my favorite things about the Christmas season. I love it most, when our kids are a part of acting it out on the stage. With four, all of them have been cast in every imaginable role possible, from breakdancing Wise Men, a talking sheep, Mary (who was SUPER bossy) Joseph who rapped every line and a Star that literally stole the show. Every year I choke up. Every. Single. Time. It doesn’t matter how it’s told, or how much laughter has ensued there’s a holy hush that settles over the audience when they hear the words “And an Angel of the Lord appeared”.
Here’s what kills me about that night in the stable. It was a MESSY MIRACLE. I’m not just talking about childbirth itself. I mean giving birth is a miracle and it’s messy.
BUT this PARTICULAR birth was especially messy. A teenage girl, engaged to be married, found to be pregnant, and the reason? God did it. Holy. Flipping. Mess.
What totally blows my mind is that Mary AGREED to this situation. “May it be to me as you have said”. What the heck was she thinking? She was betrothed, which was more than engaged, less than married. Getting pregnant meant that she could’ve been put to death, should’ve been put to death. That was Jewish law. She had NO idea if Joseph would be compassionate and divorce her quietly. She didn’t know if her family would dis-own her. She had no clue how her friends, the leaders of the town would respond. And yet in scripture, it appears there’s no hesitation in her response.
What a mess she was getting herself into. A mess, that resulted in the Savior of the World being born. A mess that redeemed mankind. How appropriate that a loving God, the creator of the world, made a miracle out of a mess. Miracles, in my experience, are not neatly tied with a bow and delivered in a clean way. Jesus spit on dirt and rubbed mud in a blind man’s eyes. MESSY MIRACLE. For three days Lazarus, lay stinking in the tomb before he was raised from the dead. MESSY MIRACLE. David knocked Goliath down with a stone and then cut off his head. MESSY MIRACLE. The crucifixion. MESSY MIRACLE.
I love that God doesn’t look at our messes and mistakes as the end of our story. No indeed. He looks at those things and I believe He says, “ I can’t wait to show them the miracle that will come from this.”
This Christmas season give yourself the gift a miracle. Give all the messes and mistakes of this year and years past to the Lord and watch Him turn all those things into a miracle.
You are stunningly strong