God Wants to Enter into Your Personal Chaos
Chaos. It's all around us. War. Terrorism. The threat of both and the reality of both as well.
by Bill Martin
Recently, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said "officials don't have any conclusive evidence about where, when or how the terrorists could strike." But since 9-11 we all know this is a very different world.
Now to the good news; the birth of Christ. Most of you might view this most popular story, as a sweet, squeaky-clean Christmas card. It is far from that.
In my opinion, one of the biggest wrongs we've committed is to paint the birth scene as something like from Little House on the Prairie, or the Sound of Music. I can see it now. Jesus is born and Julie Andrews swings around in a field of lilies.
The point is here, Jesus was born in damp, dark surroundings, with no extended family support and plenty of fear and loneliness to go around. Can you imagine what Joseph and Mary must have felt like? This was complete chaos. (Read and do some study on Luke Chapter 2. I believe it has the best narrative on the birth of Christ.)
But here's the real point of the birth story. Joy and peace came to the manger in Bethlehem not because the chaos was gone, but because God entered into it. The meaning for us this day is, God wants to enter into our personal chaos.
Meister Eckhart writes in his book Gospel Medicine: "What good is it for me for the creator to give birth to his Son, if I also do not give birth to him, in my time and in my culture."
The blue-collar shepherd's got it. They saw the terrible birth setting. They lived in the terrible economic times. They lived with political turmoil. Does any of this sound familiar? But, they found God, and they were changed by faith.
Weather you've lost your job, are sick, divorced, depressed, addicted, whatever your chaos, God is here. God is able to change your situation and, more importantly, He can change you.
John 14:25-27 "I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful."
Fear is not from God and is not about God. Be glad for Jesus Christ who was born into chaos and understands. Be glad for a God who wants to take your enter in to your chaos and heal it, and for a President who understand the power of prayer in this equation.
These words from George W. Bush, February 6, 2003: "I believe in prayer. I pray. I pray for strength, I pray for guidance, I pray for forgiveness. And I pray to offer my thanks for a kind and generous Almighty God. In this hour of our country's history, we stand in the need of prayer. We pray for the families that have known recent loss. We pray for the men and women who serve around the world to defend our freedom. We pray for their families. We pray for wisdom to know and do what is right. And we pray for God's peace in the affairs of men. May God bless you all."
Bill Martin is a multiple winner of Emmy and Associated Press Awards for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. He was also inducted into the Ohio Television/Radio Hall of Fame in 1999.