"At its core, however, Christ’s birth was unseemly (single mothers were capital criminals); unsanitary (born in a barn, surrounded by farm animals, stench and bugs); controversial (astrologers were the first to perceive it, by reading the stars); lowly (shepherds got it, innkeepers did not); dangerous (it provoked the ire of a villainous king); deadly (the king slaughtered innocents in response); not to mention politically radioactive (Jesus was “king” of an occupied people) and religiously scandalous (“Messiah”). "As we study the incarnation on Thursdays (i.e. the Christmas story) I think it's important to remember that this story is a messy one, it's not the sanitized one our Christmas cards, shopping sprees and family dinners speak of. The Incarnation is the trumpet sound of the beginning of the end. It is this story we celebrate 2000 years down the road.
As we said last Thurs. night, Christ's birth brought peace between humanity and God but Christ's presence in our lives also brings up a lot of junk that we need to deal with.
The article discusses the New York gang Satan's Sinners, and how pastor Rick and his congregation continued the ministry of Christ coming into the messy lives and communities of Bethlehem and the Middle East in their local community.
The birth of Christ is a reminder that what God has called us to is messy business but in being messy we announce “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased” (Lk. 2:14).