This morning during my Bible and prayer time, I was captivated by the pretty Christmas lights. I stared at the nativity scene realizing how clean and presentable we’ve made the Christmas story. I mean, who wants animal manure in the middle of the pretty Christmas story? Yuck!!!
It’s almost like we had to do the clean up work for God’s choice of how to bring our Savior into the world, but anyone who has ever had to muck out a horse stall knows that Jesus did not come into a pretty nativity scene. He came into a nasty, filthy, yucky mess…HE (GOD) stepped into the middle of our (mankind’s) yuck.
But let’s take note of the filth, as we gaze at our glittery nativity scenes this Christmas. Don’t forget about the YUCK, or we miss so much of God’s message in this INCOMPARABLE story of God’s grace.
Close your eyes, and picture the nativity as it really took place: sheep noisily bleating, cows shifting around in the hay, chickens pecking, and the stench of manure. It was disgusting! I wouldn’t even want to sit on the floor in a barn, much less want to give birth to one of my children there, but God chose to step down into the middle of our FILTH: our bad choices, the drama in which we get ourselves entangled, the men or women we’ve placed as more important than God in our lives, our wrong turns, our gluttony, our selfishness, our pride, our gossip, our bullying, our debauchery–We were absolutely lost without Him–so GOD chose to clothe himself in human flesh to pay the price for mankind’s sin, and He did it by coming into the world through two unimportant people in the community–a lineage of people from kings to prostitutes–to let us know that NO ONE is beyond Christ’s sacrifice, no person is too far away for GOD for Him to stop loving them.
And he came, being born into a filthy stall, to let us know that no one is too lost in the yuck for his grace to fall short. He came for us ALL. He truly is Emmanuel (God WITH us) and the El Shaddai (The ALL-sufficient One).
This Hebrew term for God, El Shaddai, comes from the root of how a mother’s breast is sufficient to nourish, comfort, and sustain her baby. A baby needs love, safety, and nourishment provided for him, and if those things are provided, then that baby has all he needs to prosper, grow strong and have opportunity to become successful. That is God to us, the El Shaddai, ALL-sufficient One–who loves us, protects us, and nourishes us. He is with us, and HE is ALL WE NEED.
Recognize this THIS Christmas season, Jesus chose the YUCK to be WITH US, so we could have ALL WE NEED to be with Him.
Now, open your eyes. Take in the beautiful nativity because all beauty comes from God’s sacrificial love for us. Take in the festive lights because Jesus came to be the light of the world, the light in the darkness. Let us rejoice in the symbolism of Christmas and how it portrays the absolute HOPE of the Christmas season. He IS the reason to rejoice THIS SEASON. HE is the reason to celebrate. ❤️
#JoyToTheWorld #TheLordHasCome #LetEarthReceiveHerKing