Who’s Going to Clean Up This Mess?

by Dec 2, 2019Christmas, Christmas 2019, Devotional

As a child, I was a slob. I’m sure there was carpet in my room, but it was unseen for all the clothes, old candy wrappers, and used dishes I kept on top of it. As you might imagine, this was a breeding ground for all sorts of creepy crawly things: ants and spiders to name a few. Discovering the creepy crawly things eventually turned me into a neat freak, but in that moment, the mess was so bad I didn’t even know where to begin to clean it all up. I needed help.

Have you ever made a mistake, or a series of mistakes, that led you to a similar state of mind? Have you ever seen a mess in your life and wondered, “How am I ever going to sort this out?”

I wonder if Eve ever felt that way. After she and her husband ate that fateful fruit (you know the one), they forever changed humanity. All those who came after them would feel the sting of broken relationship with God and with each other. I imagine Eve sitting on a hill, looking out on creation, as if looking out onto all the history that would now come after her, asking, “How is this ever going to get sorted out? Who’s going to clean all this up?”

Fast forward to Christmas. In the small town of Bethlehem, Eve’s answer is born. The pain which had been multiplied is now surpassed by joy. The weight of brokenness has been overwhelmed by the relief of a Savior.

It’s strange, but the joy of Christmas increases as our awareness of its need increases. As we recognize the not-rightness of the world around us and the not-rightness of the world within us, we ask, “Who will make it all right?” Our answer lays in a manger.

Read Genesis 3:14-19

Day 2 – Running Away from Home

<Back to Reading Plan Overviewfrom the Jonah reading planRead the WordJonah 1:1-3 | Genesis 10:9-12 | 1 Kings 10:21-23 | Genesis 3:8-9When you were a child, did you ever try to run away from home? Maybe you were angry at your parents for some reason, or you were...

Day 1 – God’s Wide Mercy

<Back to Reading Plan Overviewfrom the Jonah reading planRead the WordExodus 34:5-7 | Joel 2:13 | Jonah 4:2Even if you didn’t grow up going to Sunday School, you’ve probably heard the story of Jonah and the Whale. A favorite of the flannelgraph set, Jonah’s heroic...

Body of Christ

In part 5 of our 1 Corinthians study, we'll look at Chapters 11- 13. Paul begins by praising the Corinthians for holding fast to the traditions that he handed over to them. Some of the topics Paul deals with include authority, unity, and spiritual gifts. These...

Kids Experience February 28

Be kind to the people who are different from you.Today we hear a story that Jesus told to an expert in the law.  When Jesus finished, He asked, “Which of the three do you think was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by robbers?’ The [man] replied, ‘The one who...

Break Their Teeth, God

There are some songs of the heart that we might rather not sing out loud. They express thoughts and feelings that are brutal and dark - feelings we'd rather others not know we feel. There are Song of the Heart in the Bible that curse others or invoke evil and they...

Songs from the Heart Reading Plan Week 4

WEEK FOUR Songs of Judgment The notion of blessing is one that Christians are quite comfortable with - the idea of cursing not so much. While we don’t want to spend time with people who abuse power or commit injustices, we don’t like the idea of wishing harm on them....

God’s Stunning Grace

God's Stunning GraceI remember the days of old. I ponder all Your great works and think about what You have done. Psalms 143:5 he men shuffled through the serving line at the Cold Weather shelter, most of them barely looking up as we warmly greeted...

Where are you, God?

Ever felt like God was far away, uninterested, or worse yet, that He had abandoned you? You’re not alone. In Psalm 13, David expresses the raw emotion of wondering where God is when he needs Him the most. Far from being unspiritual, cries of lament create a dialogue...

The Church That Affirms Authority

in 1 Peter 2:13-3:7, Peter shows how Christians should relate to authority. He challenges revolutionary and capitulatory extremes by urging Christians to allow their response to be guided by faith, not dictated by circumstances.

Kids Experience February 21

Be kinder than you have to be.When Jesus told His friends to ‘go the extra mile,’ He meant that they should go farther than they had to. But He wasn’t just talking about walking and carrying a heavy pack. He meant that we should show kindness because we WANT to . . ....

Law of Christ

Welcome to week 4 of our study in 1st Corinthians! In this session, we’ll be looking at Chapters 8 through 11-1, with a focus on “The law of Christ”. As believers in Jesus Christ, we know there is only one God in whose image we are made. It’s only through Jesus Christ...

Songs from the Heart Reading Plan Week 3

WEEK THREE Songs of Lament When we are heartbroken or angry at the way life has turned out, it can be tempting to turn away from God and write Him off. But David and the other psalmists didn’t hide their feelings of disappointment in God. They felt all the feels and...

Be Careful

Be Careful And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through...

Judgment of Christ

This 3rd part of a 7 part series study on the apostle Paul’s letter of 1 Corinthians will begin to look at chapters 4-7. Within these 4 chapters, Paul addresses the division being reported to him in the church he once planted at Corinth. Paul’s Christology brings the...

Kids Experience February 14

Be kind to your family and friends. This week we take a peek at the Bible story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz and their little one Obed (see the book of Ruth in the Bible). Because of the kindness of Boaz and Ruth, Naomi now had a home with them. And get this— Obed later...

I Take Refuge in You

It seems like we spend a lot of our time searching. We chase money, relationships, fame, and plenty of other things, hoping that some of it will deliver a sense of goodness, security, and joy. But those searches ultimately leave us wanting. We tend to forget that...

Songs from the Heart Reading Plan Week 2

WEEK TWO Songs of Confidence Have you ever been awake in the middle of the night feeling overwhelmed or afraid? When David and the other psalmists were feeling this way, they expressed their unfailing confidence in the goodness, power and deliverance of God. This week...

Reading the Red

Reading the Red This then is how you should pray: Matthew 6:9 hese are turbulent times we are living in. Our country feels more divided than ever. We, as believers, are called to be different. We are called to be a light to others. We are called to...

Marriage By The Book

Marriage By The Bookhen I think back on my wedding eleven years ago, I can remember the exact date.  The place, of course.  The people in our wedding party.  What we served at the reception and what song we chose for our first dance. But when I...

Foundation of Christ

In this session, we will be diving into chapter 3 of 1 Corinthians. Paul is reminding the church at Corinth of the foundation he has laid for them to build their lives on. The "Foundation of Christ". May we all take a closer look at our lives building materials to see...

You Are Above All

God invites us to authentically express what we’re feeling when we ponder life’s realities. Many of these expressions are recorded for us in the Psalms—the songbook of the Bible. Psalm 8 is a Psalm of praise. In it, David encourages us to instinctively look up and...