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In our culture we greet people in December with the phrase, “Merry Christmas.” And well we should as we have many marvelous reasons to be celebrate Christmas. We like to decorate, bake cookies, and wrap gifts up with beautiful paper, ribbons, and bows.  

However, many people’s circumstances aren’t “merry” at Christmastime. Maybe it’s a time of the year that reminds some of a significant loss. Some are experiencing loneliness. Others have financial hardships or health struggles. 

But, today I want to encourage you to be of good cheer for our Christmas can be both “messy and bright” much like the reality of the very first Christmas.

The Original Christmas circumstances weren’t MERRY… they were MESSY!

The first Christmas circumstances surrounded a baby being born into a poor family in an obscure region of the world, and a group of people whose homeland was under Roman occupation.

Mary was a teenage virgin, engaged to be married, when God miraculously implanted the seed of a male child in her womb. That doesn’t happen every day. Actually, that’s never happened before, nor will it ever happen again. Try to explain that to your fiancé! Try explaining that to your mother and father, your relatives, your neighbors! This was scandalous! Fortunately, an Angel appeared to Joseph, and being a spiritual man, he believed the Angel’s news and accepted his calling to be a step-father to God’s Son being born to his future wife.

Wait, it gets messier… now they have to travel on a 20-hour journey to Bethlehem on a farm animal while she is 9-months pregnant. Talk about uncomfortable and inconvenient! 

When they get to their destination it’s over-crowded and there is no place to stay. There’s no relative to stay with and no hotel rooms so they end up staying in a cave or stable with some local animals mulling around making, well, a mess.

It’s cold, it’s difficult to sleep and then the mess got really messy… her water breaks and she delivers her baby boy right there in the messy outdoors! This is no picnic. This is not a “Silent Night”… it’s a Noisy Night!  

The new teenage mother is too poor to provide baby clothes so she wraps the baby boy in strips of rags and lays him to sleep in the animals’ feeding trough. Can you spell M-E-S-S-Y?

They decide to stay in the little town of Bethlehem since going back to their small village would create all kinds of gossip and relational havoc in such a religious community. Fast forward a bit, and the local King who has an inferiority complex, hears about the Messiah child born in his area and decrees all the young boys recently born must be killed by soldier’s swords. Being warned by God in a dream, Joseph packs up the little family and they become immigrant refugees in Egypt.

These are not circumstances to celebrate. However, Mary and Joseph do have marvelous reasons to celebrate for their baby boy is the promised Messiah that has been sent from God to save the world from their rebellion against God. The Angels proclaimed that the birth of this child brought “Good News of Great Joy to all the people”, Jew and Gentile, for every generation.

This Christmas, even if our circumstances are Messy, we can have a Merry Christmas… because Jesus does bring great joy to be celebrated. We have reasons to be Merry that cannot be forfeited, nor can any GRINCH steal them from us!

  • We can have a Holly Jolly Christmas, because Jesus overcame our sinful Folly!
  • We can be Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, cuz Jesus came Around to set us Free!
  • We can proclaim “Joy to the World”, cause God sent a baby “Boy to the World”!
  • We can play our drum for him pa-rum-pum-pum-pum for God’s Son has miraculously come-pum-pum!
  • We can have a Merry Little Christmas because Mary had a little lamb, whose righteousness was white as snow!  

Merry, Messy Christmas to you and yours, from Betty and Dan at Deed & Truth!!!

4 thoughts on “Messy Christmas

  1. Great devotional/Christmas message!!!!!
    Blessings to you,Dan, and Betty and the girls!
    YOU are always a blessing to us!!!
    Jack and Barbara W

  2. Thank you for this great reminder and how good God is!
    We love you guys! Big hugs to the girls!
    Merry Messy Christmas!

  3. I like it PD!!!! Much love and gratitude for you guys and H2H. Looking forward to being blessed by lots of move-ins in 2024 🙂 Love, M&T

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