Jesus meets us in our messiness

By Dale Marks
Special to The PREVIEW

Bedbugs. Those nasty, nearly invisible creatures that can wreck a good night’s sleep and leave us uncomfortable for days.

I have a friend who takes extensive measures whenever he travels to assure that there are no bedbugs in his room. And who can blame him? All that itching and scratching — what a mess!

You might wonder what bedbugs have to do with Christmas and the birth of Jesus?

Well, the Gospel writer Luke tells us, “While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son, and she wrapped him snugly in cloth and laid him in a feeding trough — because there was no room for them at the inn.”

The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, God becoming flesh, the very One deserving of all honor didn’t force His way into our lives but arrived without much worldly fanfare in the midst of a messy world. He didn’t even get a room with bedbugs, and a feeding trough was His bed. Certainly not the way He deserved.

And why? Because instead of waiting on us to straighten things out, to get our act all together, or to clean up our lives so we could approach Him, the God of the Universe bent low and humbly came right into the middle of disorderly, complicated lives — just as He does today.

Jesus meets us in our messiness.

We don’t have to clean it up, or fix it up, or even sweep out the bedbugs. It’s not about us trying to be good so we can get to God, but that He came to us. And in simple faith we can receive the gift of grace He offers, when we put our trust in Him.

Today, instead of working so hard to clean up the mess, would you receive the One who came to meet you right in the middle of your messiness? And may you experience the joy and peace of Christmas in a new and fresh way this year.

The author is the senior pastor of Grace in Pagosa Church. You are invited to join us as we gather together to worship on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. at the Ross Aragon Community Center. We’d also like to invite you to a special Christmas Eve service on Dec. 24 at 5 p.m., also at the community center.

This story was posted on December 19, 2013.