Priming the Pump
...the God of Christmas gets dirty!
Every year people question our ability to experience Christmas when the world in such a mess. But it is into times such as these that the baby was first born...and into times such as these that God continues to come!
Whenever we are in the midst of the suffering, despair and disaster, be aware that God is coming. If we learn nothing else from that first Christmas, we learn that ours is a God who elects to enter into the world's mess and pain and suffering.
Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, explains that at Christmas, "God opted into the world of joy and muck, and did not exempt Godself from all that means. In other words, God decided that, rather than worrying about being contaminated by the bad stuff, God would contaminate the world with good stuff: generosity, grace, love, mercy, justice, hope."
At the time of Jesus' birth, the Hebrew people lived a miserable existence...just like many today. We've seen far too much misery in 2016: carnage in the Middle East, countless refugees, and terrorism in Europe. On American soil we've experienced the horrific mass shooting in Orlando and deep divisions between our races, genders, religions, political parties, and economic levels. But it is into times like these that God comes.
If there is indeed a heavenly throne upon which God sits...or if indeed God sometimes wears a flowing white robe...God is not limited to that robe and throne. Ours is a God who gets dirty. Ours is a God willing to swap a throne for a feeding trough, a robe for swaddling clothes. Ours is a God who gets dirty.
Over the next four weeks we'll prepare for Jesus' coming into the world as a baby. And we'll pray for a time when misery and suffering cease; a time without mass shootings, money worries, or persecution of our brothers and sisters who hold different beliefs and values.
Between now and Christmas we'll prepare for the coming of our God...a God who is willing to get dirty.
No water today...just priming the pump.