Advent worship team devotional. Part 4 – God entered our mess

Advent worship team devotional. Part 4 – God entered our mess

This worship team devotional is part of a four-week series that takes excerpts from The Taming of Christmas written by Jon Nicol. Each devotional contains a brief scripture reading and discussion questions and is designed for use during the Advent season.

The gospel—the good news—of the Christmas story, isn’t JUST that God became man. But that he entered our mess. He waded and swam in the pool of our sin and our filth in order to rescue us, to pull us out of the mess that we’re in.

And thirty-some years after this messy entrance into a messy world, Jesus hung on a cross and took upon him all that is wrong with us. He took our sin, our sickness, our filth, and paid the price that it required. He cleaned up our mess. He made us beautiful. If we should tame this holiday, if we should sanitize the story of His birth, we will miss whole point of Christmas.

Most Christmas messages preach “it’s better to give than receive.” And that’s true. But each Christmas, I think we’re asked to receive…

…the truth that God is wild and beyond anything we can imagine.

…the truth that he cannot be tamed, nor should His story be tamed.

And receive the truth that He is good. He calls to himself hurting people–people bruised by world, marginalized by society. He has no time for those who think they’ve got it all together.

But He has time for smelly shepherds, for beggars, for prostitutes, for bastard children just like he was perceived to be. He has time for messy people who recognize their messiness. That’s what he came here for. That’s why the perfect and the holy entered into our grime and depravity.

Receive the truth that you are loved by a God who did not require you to pay for your mess. But He came Himself, in Jesus Christ, to clean the dirt and wipe the tears and lift you out of the mess and into His arms. 

Don’t let that truth be tamed.

Read: Romans 5:6-8


Why is it so easy to forget that God is “wild and beyond anything we can imagine”?

“He has no time for those who think they have it all together.” What is it about our “independence” and “self-reliance” that moves us away from the rescuing arms of Jesus?

What are some actions in worship that move us away from “having it all together” to being people who “recognize our messiness”?

“While we were yet sinners” – we’ve heard that phrase over and over. What does it really mean, and why is it so amazing that God would “demonstrate his love” for us?

Jon Nicol is a worship pastor in Ohio. Jon’s ebook, The Taming of Christmas, is available as a single-copy or as church-licensed copy, which allows you to distribute copies to your local church.

Other posts you might like:

Part one of this devotional series – The reality of the nativity

Part two of this devotional series – Messy People/ Messy Faith

Part three of this devotional series – An unsafe God