Advent Reading – December 8, 2017

Laura Laskowski – Worship Design Team

John 3:17

Imagine. Imagine resting next to baby Jesus’ cradle ~ errr, I mean, the animals’ feeding trough that tiny Jesus slept in the night He was born. Sit quiet. Smell the straw and the animals (probably the manure too).  Hear the baby breathing. Gently, steadily, peacefully in sleep. It’s been a long day.

There are sounds in the distance – dogs howling. The town of Bethlehem was full of activity earlier today. Many people coming and going for the census. Lots of line-ups, irritating people.  Everything taking longer than expected.

The roads around town are all well worn from the many travellers on foot, on camels, or on donkeys. Everything is more dirty than usual from all the dust. The local businesses are hardly able to keep up with all the commotion and people.

“It’s too much all at once,” complained a local merchant at the market. “And everyone is so impatient!”

Hmmm, sound familiar?  Busy, bustling, tired, weary…impatient, anyone?

Jesus was born for all those Bethlehem travellers, merchants, towns-people, men, women and children. He was born into the chaos, the messy, the imperfect. God did not wait until everything was in perfect order to send His Son. Actually, nothing really seemed ready for Him ~ Jesus’ parents weren’t yet married, the Inn was full, the stable was dirty. It was the middle of a long road trip for Mary and Joseph – not an ideal time to have a baby.  But Jesus came.

And, guess what? Just as Jesus came as a baby into their imperfect world, so He comes today in our imperfect world.  He wants to meet us right in the middle of our mess.

So, I invite you to come. Come back to that feed trough in that old, simple stable. Rest. Rest your weary head in the hay. Listen. Listen to those gentle, steady breaths. Receive. Receive His peace. You don’t need to imagine… Jesus is real. He is here. He loves you.

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”  

John 3:17