In a society where Black Friday fever has taken over the public consciousness, it can be easy to forget the real meaning of this Christmas season. Hope! Hope found in the simplest, humblest, and most chaotic of places. Our savior, the hope of the world, born in a manager. Decades of nativity scenes and Christmas plays have slowly stripped this humble scene of its grittiness and, in turn, have taken away some of its intended impact.
For example, we tend to imagine the stable where Christ was born to be one of the most clean and calm stables in existence. As if the still-life images of the animals lining up calmly and the doting, clean-robed parents was a possibility. That was not the reality of that night. Animals are not potty trained. Childbirth is not pretty. Stables are not sterile.
If we stop to truly consider the Christmas story, we realize that it was probably anything but calm and clean. Imagine Joseph’s panic as he tries to get a laboring wife to a safe place. Not to mention the horror of having to help her through this process. There was no mid-wife, no family and the men of his day were not accustomed to being a part of the birthing process. In fact, the arrival of Christ was, in contrast to our modern day imagining, quite chaotic, messy, and anything but ideal. Especially when you consider the immediate death threat placed upon this child’s life by Herod.
It is in this moment that God chose to send His son. He placed the Savior of the world directly into our messy, chaotic world and did not shy away from its truth, from our truth. There is hope found not only in the person of Christ, but also in his chaotic birth. In this, we were given the most significant gift of all. We were given a savior who was fully man and fully God. Christ understands, intercedes, and offers forgiveness not from a distance, but from an intimate understanding of our world and who we are. We have been given the ultimate hope within our mess because we have a Savior who stood and still stands as a light within the chaos. He offers us peace, not on the other side of our struggled, but NOW…in the middle of our mess…PEACE.
We at Ozarks TC see the light of that hope breaking through the chaos everyday. Whether it be in a spiritual breakthrough or in a small but genuine smile from a student who came to us angry and depressed. We pray that you would experience that hope this Christmas season, as well. If you or a family member feel trapped in the chaos of addiction, know that you are not alone, there is hope. We stand ready to stand with you alongside our Savior to help you find the hope and peace that He offers us all. If you need help don’t hesitate to contact us today.
From all of us here at Ozarks Teen Challenge, Merry Messy Christmas!!!