December 2, 2018

Merry Christmas, I Cleaned Up Your Mess


We all heard a scream and a crash. My daughter and I rushed into the dining room to discover that my son had dropped oatmeal all over him and the floor. My son stood there in shock, and my daughter, exasperated at her little brother (or “little bother” as she calls him), shook her finger in his face stating, “Look at the mess you’ve made!”

I quickly shooed my son to his room to clean up. As he and I returned to clean up the mess on the floor, we both heard my daughter sweetly say, “Merry Christmas, Jackson, I cleaned up your mess!”

I laughed out loud. But then I got very quiet and began to softly cry as the weight of those words washed over me.

You see, on a silent night some 2,000 years ago, in a little no-name town, a no-name teenage mother had a baby, born in a dark, drafty, filthy, stinky, cold, barn. The Gospel records: “In the beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with God and was truly God. From the very beginning the Word was with God. And with this Word, God created all things. Nothing was made without the Word. Everything that was created received its life from him, and his life gave light to everyone. . . . The Word became a human being and lived here with us. We saw his true glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father. From him all the kindness and all the truth of God have come down to us” (John 1:1-4, 14, CEV).

God came to be with us. When He was born, it was God’s way of saying to the entire human race—to you and me: “Look at the mess you’ve made by sinning and turning your backs on Me. But merry Christmas. I cleaned up your mess!”

Jesus told Nicodemus: “God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them!” (John 3:16, 17, CEV).

I’m so glad that God came into this world; not just to point out our mess, but to clean it up by being born as a helpless baby, living a perfect life, dying—though perfect—a sinner’s death, and finally being raised to life.

So Merry Christmas! Jesus has cleaned up the mess we could never clean up ourselves!

So let’s live our lives for Him. And let’s make sure as we encounter others who’ve made a mess of their lives that they know Jesus died to clean up their messes as well.

Let’s never forget that Jesus is the reason for this season.

Omar Miranda, a counselor and writer, lives with his family in unplain Plainville, Georgia.