Yesterday Ezra (my oldest son) was sick. He had some old milk that made his tummy very upset resulting in a bit of a mess to clean up before work. I don’t do vomit. I hate it. The stomach bug is one of the worst non-lethal sicknesses I can ever deal with, and my son sat there struggling from the pain of his tummy and the mess he had created all over his pajamas. I hate vomit. Yet I still found myself quickly wishing to clean my son and attempt to soothe him to help him feel better.
Jesus inherited a mess. He came into a messy world using a messy method, and lived amongst messy people. It may seem odd, but I too often forget the sheer amount of love that was required for Jesus to live on this earth. The amount of compassion shown to a people who were stuck in a life that they had no hope off fixing on their own is mind boggling, but I still manage to forget it often.
I like this time before Christmas. It is a period of reflection. My family and I do advent, and last Sunday was on the prophets while tomorrow will be on John. I am a little late to the game in posting about this so I will be lumping these two together a bit. The prophets foretold of the mess the world was currently in. They pointed to the ugliness of humanity, and of the need for something greater to rescue them from despair. They pointed to the problem, but also the solution. This solution must have been incredibly fuzzy to their audience, and the prophets themselves. Little of it made sense. The only thing that seemed clear was that there would be a Messiah who would provide salvation. He would bring peace to His people.
Enter John. John pointed to the solution in the flesh. The Messiah. The lamb who would take away the sins of the world. The Messiah had arrived, and the promise of God was now living amongst these people. He came and he went, but yet still we see a messy world around us. A world that remains filled with burdens. A world where a husband tells his wife that he doesn’t love her anymore and is leaving her. It is a land where men, women, and children starve to death. It is a desert where men strap bombs to themselves and fly [planes into buildings. It is a soul who remains tormented by heartache over the pain of loved ones. The world is still a messy place.
Jesus set out to fix the biggest mess of all. My favorite title for the Messiah is Prince of Peace. We look at the world and see it enflamed with war and violence. These past few years have seemed especially difficult. Where is the peace? The peace is in the form of God’s relationship with man. Sins has been covered. The price has been paid. The time for fear is over for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord. The greatest peace we could ever need has arrived. We have access to our creator. A real relationship can be developed.
Jesus came into the mess, but he came with unique purpose. A Purpose to allow us to have peace in the midst of strife. Comfort in the storm of pain. Salvation.
John proclaimed that peace was for the taking in the here and now. Peace between God and man. So for now we wait. We rest in the embrace of the Prince of Peace who has freed us from the mess of sin, and wait for his second coming when all things will be set right. We remember, and we wait.