I prefer things to be tidy, neat and organised. That, I believe is a good thing. If there’s too much clutter then we can easily become disorganised and find it hard to see and do what’s important. And yet I know life is never free of mess. It never will be. The world we live in, the lives we lead, and the people we interact with make life busy and often complex. Which is why I like the philosophy behind the products made by Apple. They are externally simple but internally complex.
The Advent stories are like that. Listen to them being read and the message is actually very clear: God has not left us alone. He became human. He has come to us in his Son, Jesus Christ. That’s the simple message. But read the stories again and there is much more to discover. All sorts of things are going on under the surface. Behind their stories are real people living with all sorts of issues, questions, joys and struggles – just like our lives today. That’s the world Jesus came to. A world that was, and is complicated and messy.
I find that hugely comforting and profoundly challenging. It’s comforting because it means that God understands what it’s like to live this not-always-straightforward human life. He knows what it’s like to be human. To be you and me. It’s challenging because it means we can’t separate the sacred from the secular. We can’t exclude God from bits of our lives or pretend that God doesn’t care or see or know. Rather, he is here. Present. Involved. That’s why Jesus came.
The world of the first Advent is not that dissimilar to ours. Into a world of much complexity God comes in great simplicity – as a vulnerable baby – with an simple message of love.
Why not ask the Lord to remind you again of his simple message of this season? Are you welcoming him into the complexity of your life and family today?