The Manger is Messy

“And this will be a sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”  Luke 2: 12

Dear Father, thank you for not being afraid of a mess.  Even Jesus was delivered as love incarnate in the form of a babe in the middle of a messy manger.  Lord, may we all learn to embrace those who feel the vulnerability of a meager manger.  I  pray we would be love in the middle of mess. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

In the hall at church I saw a friend who has been through an extended season of hardships.  She was hurting, seeking, struggling with little hope left to hold onto.  She shared her wavering faith and plagues of doubt.

As she spoke, it seemed as if she was on an operating table opened up for surgery—inward parts lying out as the Great Physician removed the toxins inside and exposed the areas needing a touch of healing from the only One who can truly heal. Messy.  Not too messy for God.

She expressed her perspective of people being afraid of her mess and found it difficult to reach out to people during this prolonged period of pain.

Lovingly, I said, “I’m not afraid of messy.  And neither is God.”

We prayed together for inner healing.  Nothing is too big for our God to heal.

Roughly 2017 years ago, the Father ultimately expressed His love for us in the middle of a mess.  We often read over Luke 2 in familiarity.  Jesus was born in a manger.  He was born in a barn with animals,  animal messes, hay and farm-like smells.  It was messy.

Even the setting of Jesus’ birth reflects His willingness and profound eagerness to come into our mess.  What great love is this!

As the body of Christ, we too need to be willing and even eager to embrace and love others in the middle of messy.

On an operating table with messes laid out in the open is a vulnerable place to be.  But when we bring our mess to the Lord, He promises to cover us.  He never leaves us exposed.  When others are brave enough to lay out their messes before us, we as the church need to be a place that is safe, a covering of protection for our fellow sisters and brothers as they seek healing.

If we are ever tempted to think someone’s manger is too messy, may we always remember the condition our manger was in before Jesus entered in.  The world needs the body of Christ to enter into the messy and be the love and light of Jesus in the middle of the mess.

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