Mess and the Messiah

#3 Christmas Reflection

By Ben Thurley

The place Jesus was born probably wasn't an "inn."

It probably wasn't a cave or a shed either. It was, most probably, simply the lower room of a typical Palestinian house. Stone and wood and earth daub. Just the one room, so the lantern could give light to the whole place.

Room for all to sleep raised up just a little and room for the animals a little lower down, near the entrance. Feed and straw. Where the animals were brought in at night for warmth and safety. 

Comfortable noises unless the animals startle.

Dark and cramped when unexpected guests come.

Certainly not a place fit for a king.

The scene of every daily chores, and the humdrum mess of daily life, the petty arguments and the tiny triumphs – barely big enough to celebrate. 

And yet, that's where he was born. The Messiah amidst the mess.

And that's where Jesus will still turn up.

In the messiness of our attempts to live out his reign, working with steadfast love to bring about justice and healing. 

In the messiness of our own lives.Even in our best moments we know that our lives and our hearts and our on-again-off-again generosity and faithfulness are not lives worthy of a king's presence. Yet, that's where he longs to be.

The Messiah amidst our mess.

International Nepal Fellowship is standing alongside our partner, Shanti Nepal, to build a Birthing Centre and support income development, food production and better health care in one of Nepal's most remote communities.

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