I am thinking tonight about the fact that when Jesus was born, it wasn’t into a nice, neat, acceptable sort of family. I am thinking about the fact that he was born under slightly awkward circumstances.

The Bible says:

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.

Matthew 1:18,19 NLT

See? It’s just kind of awkward. Poor Joseph – what do you do when your fiance tells you she’s pregnant by the Holy Spirit? Imagine the shame that would have gone alone with this.

But I have to admit, I like Joseph’s heart. He does not want to embarrass the woman he is planning on marrying, so he plans to quietly end the engagement. To minimize the damage to her reputation. There is kindness in that.

I find it endlessly comforting that when God steps down into human history he doesn’t come in a nice, neat package. That instead he steps into messy-ness and confusion and awkwardness. That when God becomes a human, he becomes FULLY human, not some cleaned-up-and-perfect version of human.

That’s the kind of God that I get excited about. One who doesn’t stay separate from our mess, but actually comes down to be part of it, and then – as only God can do – redeems it and makes it holy.

Next time you find yourself in an awkward, messy situation, I encourage you to turn it over to God. It really is amazing what He can do to change something awkward into something beautiful.

 

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