Thursday, December 5, 2013


You know? I don't mind a bit feeling unqualified to do God's work. After all, my Messiah was a mess.

'Tis the season where the world is holding its breath, awaiting the coming of the King. And we're all so used to the Christmas story by now that we forget that it wasn't supposed to be this way. Well, we never expected it to be this way.

Oh sure, we had all the prophecies. We had the words of God telling us what it was supposed to be like, but we didn't take them that way. A child will be born, we knew, but we kind of expected the Messiah to show up at the birth, not to be the birth. No self-respecting king flaunts his diaper years. No supernatural king would even have diaper years. And if he did, they certainly wouldn't be in the hands of an unwed mother.

No, our King would come ready. He would come fully in His glory, not in our body, and take His rightful place. His skin would be unblemished; His muscles soft but strong. Then here comes Joseph's son, the son of a carpenter, with calloused and broken hands, with strength to haul the lumber. When you take the hand of God, it's rough to the touch. That's now how the Messiah was supposed to be. He was supposed to be pure, clean, smooth.

He wasn't going to study the Scriptures; He should already know them by the time He comes. Yet here He sits in the synagogue, in the Temple, talking with the other teachers. Here He sits with the students.

He would know the Scriptures, and He would adhere to them. He'd be the ultimate Pharisee. The law would be written on His forehead. Yet here is the Son of God, breaking the Sabbath, eating without washing, extending a hand to sinners and Gentiles. He spent more time out of the temple than in it. He spent more time breaking the rules than setting them. He spent more time fighting the institution than saving it.

He wasn't going to be subject to any earthly ruler; He wouldn't place Himself under any king. Yet from the very moment of His birth, the rulers had Him running. Later, He paid taxes to the emperor. He humbled Himself to the systems of this world, though we thought He had come to overthrow them.

And certainly, He wouldn't be a man we would want to kill. He wouldn't be a King we'd want to get rid of. Heck, He wouldn't be a king who even could die.

Yet here we stand in front of the Sanhedrin, our voices fading into the crowd. Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Kill the Man already!

Yet here we stand at Golgotha, casting lots for His very few earthly possessions. Dibs on His tunic. I've got His sandals.

Yet here we stand at the tomb, setting the stone in place. He's gone.

Yet here we stand thinking that for all we ever wanted in a King, this Messiah was a mess. That's not how He should have come. That's not how He should have lived. That's not how He should have died. He's hardly qualified to be our Messiah.

But that's who God sent. And that who He told us was coming. And that's why we have hope that everything else He's told us is also true.

Which is how I can keep going knowing how unqualified I feel for all of this. Because God's told me it is true, and even His Messiah was a mess.

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