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December 15, 2019 at 12:27 pm · · Comments Off on Messy Christmas – Week 3

Messy Christmas – Week 3

This Advent season we are discovering the hope and joy of Christ in the midst of what is often a messy, imperfect Christmas. This Sunday we talked about those sometimes complicated and tense relationships with our families.

Matthew 1:1-17 details the family tree of Jesus, going all the way back to Abraham, the father of Israel. Did you know that Jesus was born into a pretty crazy, messy family? Abraham lied to kings about his relationship with his wife Sarah, saying she was his sister. At the request of his jealous wife Sarah, Abraham also forced their servant Hagar away once she gave birth to a son Ishmael, sending her off with next to nothing. Jacob was a liar and trickster, misleading several of his family members. Judah sold his own brother into slavery and had relations with his daughter-in-law. Rahab was a prostitute, who helped the Israelites capture a city. David was an adulterer and a murderer. Solomon had 700 wives and concubines. We can only imagine how dramatic some of those family gatherings must have been!

Each person in Jesus’ genealogy has something dark in their story. Yet, here’s the amazing thing: Jesus was born into this messy family. The Savior of the world came from a crazy family, full of sinners and complicated relationships. Yet God used each of these people, in spite of their shortcomings and failures, to play a part in God’s unfolding story of salvation for the whole world. No one is unredeemable or beyond the reach of God’s grace. Matthew 1 demonstrates how God can bring restoration and hope in the midst of our complicated, messy families.

This Advent season, look for ways God’s grace is showing up in and through your family, no matter how crazy it may be. Sometimes God calls us to be the vessels through which the good news of Christ shows up for our families. How is God inviting you to share Christ with your family this Christmas? Maybe it’s through forgiving a family member who wronged you or asking for forgiveness someone you wronged. Maybe it’s spreading peace in the midst of disagreements or by being a comforting presence to someone in your family who is having a tough time. Maybe it is through inviting a family member to one of our Christmas Eve services. Jesus came from a messy family to help us with our own. God can bring redemption out of our complicated, broken family relationships.

Messy Christmas Advent Calendar:

  • Monday December 16- Read Matthew 1:1-17. This is the lineage of Jesus’ family- it was a family with a lot of messy, complicated relationships. Consider, where might joy be present in the midst of Jesus’ messy family? In what ways does your family bring you joy?
  • Tuesday December 17- Smile at everyone you see today. Even a simple smile can bring joy to someone having a rough day.
  • Wednesday December 18- Write a note or card thanking someone who has brought you joy recently.
  • Thursday December 19- Have each person in your family share something that brought them joy this week.
  • Friday December 20- Invite a few of your favorite people over for dinner or a game night.
  • Saturday December 21- Bring joy to your neighbors by leaving a small gift or sweet treat on the doorsteps with an encouraging note.