globalgirl Advent Adventure: Christ-in-our-mess


(Idelette’s note: It’s ironic, as I’m posting this, Scott just swept up some broken glass, Sarah hurt her arm from a stocking that fell off the fireplace and the kids are making lots of noise. It’s Christmas at Linwood House and everything is so beautiful, so perfect … then, well, enter us humans. Yes, life is messy and noisy. Thank you, Stacy, for reminding us of Christ born into this very mess. Love it.)

By Stacy Wiebe

My friend Suzanne was arranging ceramic nativity figures at a Christmas party for international students and their families. “I want to hold that baby!” a little boy said. Slipping through his busy fingers, the baby Jesus fell and hit the floor—and broke.

“It’s OK,” Suzanne reassured the boy and his mother, gingerly laying the broken baby Jesus back in the manger.

Looking at the fractured pieces, I thought, it really is OK—fitting, actually. The sweet baby in the manger came to be broken. He came to be bruised for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.

The very first whisper, “Christmas is coming” is found in the very first book of the Bible, Genesis. Adam and Eve still have pieces of forbidden fruit stuck in their teeth. And God says, “Christmas is coming.” Who is the first to be told? The one who least welcomed the news—the serpent, Satan.

And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel (Genesis 3:15).

Theologians call this the protoevangelium, the first gospel. It’s the first telling of the good news of great joy that will be for all people. But on the surface it doesn’t look joyful. Although we may not see it at first glance, Christ is in this verse. He is the ultimate Seed of the Woman who would one day come to crush the serpent’s ugly head. In the process, His “heel” would be bruised and His body would be broken on the cross. In short, this verse predicts that Jesus would win the victory over Satan but would Himself be wounded in the process.

This first promise of Christmas was made in the middle of the perfect mess the human race made of God’s perfect garden. And when Christmas finally did come, it was in a dark, messy cave where God-in-the-flesh was wrapped in strips of cloth and laid in a feeding trough.

When my son was born, my mom attended the birth. She told me afterwards that it was much more dramatic and messy than she’d anticipated. Miracles, I think, are like that. The first whispers of Christmas and its ultimate manifestation certainly were.

As we take time to ponder the meaning of Christmas, let me suggest one: Christ-in-our-mess. The holy, flawless Son of God came to be with us, to be one of us. He came to take the fall … for us.

One word for today: Hope

When you watch or read the news today, whisper the word, “Hope” and pray that the individuals in the stories will experience Christ, whatever the messiness in their lives.

Lord Jesus, in You alone we place our hope. Your hope is not illusory; it does not disappoint. No one whose hope is in You will ever be put to shame. Amen.

About Stacy:
Stacy Wiebe is a homeschooling mom and a writer/editor. She has lived in four countries and currently resides in the land of chicken tikka masala.