I haven’t shared much for Advent this year so I thought I’d write out something that I’ve been thinking about and see what you all have to say about it. I truly love to hear your thoughts and insights! Your views help stretch me and push me to grow and that is a great gift, so I thank you all! To me, these thoughts seem especially appropriate at the end of a week where Christians are arguing with great vehemence amongst themselves over what’s happening in pop culture.
I’ve been a part of a great Bible study for the past several weeks that has shown me a truth I always knew, on the surface, but had never really allowed to sink in, in any meaningful way: Jesus came from broken people, to help broken people.
I grew up hearing all of the Bible stories:
Adam and Eve defied God and got kicked out of paradise.
Abram and Sarai laughed in the face of God’s promise.
Jacob stole his brother’s birthright.
Judah conspired, out of jealously, to sell his brother into slavery.
Rahab was a prostitute.
Ruth was a pagan.
David was an adulterer and a murderer.
These men and women were deeply flawed. They made huge mistakes. They made some terrible choices. Yet they were still chosen by God to be the human ancestors of The Messiah.
Why did God choose such a bunch of royal screw ups?
The Bible tells us that Jesus was descended from humans and, let’s face it. We humans are all a bunch of royal screw ups. Every one of us has done something (many things?) that we shouldn’t have done. “All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.” None of us are above the occasional “face palm!”
Christians have a weird habit of looking at the men and women in the Bible and saying to ourselves, “I could never be as good and great as them. God could never use me in that way.” But the reality is those people were deeply flawed – just like us. They were drunks and drama queens, jealous lovers, liars, cheats and thieves. They often lacked faith and failed to be obedient to God’s will. In short, they were just regular humans.
God used them anyway. And through them He accomplished His amazing, wondrous, miraculous ends.
The Bible also tells us that Jesus was descended from God. God never fails. Not ever. He is the very embodiment of Love and Wisdom, Justice, Mercy, and Truth.
So Jesus was the embodiment of the perfection of God but he was also totally empathetic to the brokenness of man because he was one of us.
If you call yourself a Christian and you find yourself standing in judgement of others because of their short-comings, remember that the Messiah you follow came from people just like those you are judging as less than yourself. Perhaps, instead of pointing out the sins of others (as you see them) your time would be better spent humbling yourself before God and asking how He can use you in all your brokenness to bring His Love to those who are lost and hurting.
If you are a person who has been feeling lost and alone, broken, flawed or unlovable I suggest you read the Bible. I’ve recently been reading a version called The Story. It’s not an exact translation. A friend described it as “The Cliff Notes version of The Bible” and she’s not far off. It’s a big sweeping overview of the whole text, skipping over many of the details that people so often get tangled up in, to paint an epic picture of the creation, fall and redemption of man. It’s a surprisingly easy read and I think you’ll find some life-changing insights.
Because, see, God didn’t come to earth as the man, Jesus, in order to save people who had all the answers. He came to bring the ultimate message of Hope to those who were hopeless.
This Christmas, rejoice! For we have been given good tidings that will bring great joy to all people. In Bethlehem a Savior has been born!
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!