A couple of days ago as I was driving to work, I passed a house that had a little plastic nativity in the front yard. As I peered out my window into the dreary gray morning, I became indignant. What I saw were Joseph, Mary, and Jesus all sitting together in overgrown, dead grass, surrounded by weeds. I began to criticize the house owners in my mind, thinking that the least they could have done was prepare a decent space for our precious Savior and His earthly parents. I could barely get the thought out before the Lord gently prompted me with another, less critical way of looking at the messy little lawn.
The thought that followed was this: Jesus does not ask us to clean up our messiness before we invite Him in. Yes, there is something to be said for preparing a space for the Lord, which is the entire point of the Advent season. However, Jesus came to Earth because of our messiness, because of our inability to clean ourselves up on our own, because of our unworthiness to create a space fit for a King. No matter how often we water the grass or pull the weeds, Jesus has no problem with sitting in the midst of the mess with us. He will walk straight into the brown dead grass, lift up our heads, and bless us with love and truth.
I now have a great respect for my neighbors down the street. The very decorations in their front lawn declare their belief in the Christmas story. They weren’t going to let a little dead grass get in the way of their celebration of Jesus. What are the weeds in your life that have kept you from inviting Jesus into the mess?