Saturday, January 7, 2012

the Light came to meet the dark. Let Him in.

We spend a lot of time preparing ourselves for Jesus every day. We try to make ourselves ready by doing things for Him. We try to make ourselves "clean" and presentable to Him. We prepare just like Mary and Joseph must've been preparing with incredible love and care to create a room and nursery for the coming Son of God.

Joseph was a wood smith who must've spent hours on end, creating the most precious crib. And Mary probably spent weeks knitting a beautiful blanket for the baby, praying with every stitch that she would be ready and that the nursery would be ready for the Son of God when He came.

Instead they unexpectedly had to travel to Bethlehem to be taxed.
God made the Son of God go where He wants Jesus to go and where we need to let Jesus go. To the dark, dreary, UGLY, smelly, horrible manger. A dark and ugly place. All Mary could do was tidy that horrible place and, using the little bit of cloth she could find, place Jesus in the best place she could find: an animal feeding tray. This dark place, this stable, and manger (animal feeding tray) is like where Jesus wants and needs to go inside each of us.
Jesus wants to come into our deepest darkest, ugliest places. The place we most don't want to let Him in. The parts of us we hide from everyone, including ourselves. The place we most don't want God.

That's where Jesus wants and needs to be. The light needs to shine to the darkest places. He wants us to let Him into the darkest places, to show Him everything and let the light meet the darkness. That is why He came. To bring Light to the darkest places. To save us because we can't save ourselves.

We can't make these dark places about ourselves clean no matter how much we try. All we can do is sweep and tidy them up a tiny bit, scramble to clean them up, but we can't. Because they are too dark, too ugly, too horrible. But this is exactly where Jesus wants and needs to be. The Light must shine in all the darkest places. He wants us to let Him in. Let forgiveness and grace in. He wants to forgive everything, especially the darkest things, to cover them in His grace.

We can't save ourselves. We can't make ourselves ready, no matter how hard we try. He needs to come to us, exactly how we are, to the darkest most horrible place in each of us and shine His Light, His love, His saving grace. He died for our sins, especially our darkest deepest ugliest ones we want to hide most.

... Christmas day I went to mass with my family. I liked everything about that Catholic mass that day a lot. Especially the message. What I remembered from the message I jotted down and that is what you just read above.

What Zechariah, Jesus's uncle prophesied about his son John the Baptist:

Zechariah’s Song
"His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for Him,
to give His people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

-Luke 1:76-79

And Paul says in Acts,

“On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

“Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’

“ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of Me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to Light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ "

-Acts 26:12-18

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