Jesus – Lord over Your Mess

 

172

My granddaughter is sick this morning. She is all stuffed up and her nose is running. I held her while her mommy got ready to take her to the doctor. She wallowed and turned and squirmed. She spat out her medicine all over me. She wiped her snotty nose on my blouse. And I didn’t mind one bit.

It reminded me of the account in Matthew of a man with leprosy who came to Jesus for healing. He knelt before Him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean” (8:2). Matthew says that “Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ He said. ‘Be clean.’ (8:3). Don’t run past that. Jesus reached out His hand – and touched – the- man – with – leprosy. Leprosy was a very contagious disease that ate away at the flesh. A leper was ostracized from the rest of the community as their nose, fingers, toes, and ears fell off their body. It was a nasty, gross disease. If they wandered into public places they must shout out “Unclean! Unclean!” to warn others to keep their distance. (That sounds familiar in 2020). When Jesus said, “I am willing,” and reached out his hand, He was saying, “I am willing to touch your disease and filth.”

Matthew noted what the prophet Isaiah said about the suffering Messiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases” (Matthew 8:17/Isaiah 53:4). Coupled with the story of the leper and you can hear Jesus saying, “I am willing to take your disease and your filth upon myself.” He reached out His hand and touched all of humanity’s filth and took it all to the cross. Without flinching.

I’m going to change my shirt before I head to work, but I don’t mind. She needed Nana’s comfort – and it got messy. By the way, have you noticed the name “Messiah?” The “ah” is transcribed as “Lord.” Beloved, won’t you let Jesus be Lord over your mess?

Peace that Never Ends

“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way.”  2 Thessalonians 3:16

On this, our last day in the Advent week of peace, let’s recall for a moment the many ways the Lord of peace has given us His peace.  We have considered how Jesus Christ became the way to peace with God.  We have seen how the peace of God can calm our fearful and anxious hearts, and how it can bring peace to our relationships.  God offers peace in our “dark night of the soul,” bringing His light to the night that surrounds us.  We have also seen that a life focused on peace brings fruit such as unity, rest, life, strength and hope.  These are all available to us today, when we choose Jesus Christ, the true Prince of Peace.

But there is a peace we have not yet considered, a peace that we will not know in this life for it is an eternal peace.  In the beloved Christmas hymn, “Silent Night” we sing, “Sleep in heavenly peace.” This is “heavenly peace.”

We live in a world that is fraught with the threat of war, terrorism, and never knowing when another unhinged person will open fire in a killing spree.  Every day the news is filled with reports of abuse, hatred, oppression, and violence.  National, world and local leaders are corrupt.  Children live and die in fear, hunger, disease and war.  Will it ever come to an end?

Yes, and it will be a spectacular end indeed.  One day, and I think not so very far away, Jesus Christ will return, and bring with Him the fulfillment of God’s promise of peace. He will come, not as the baby in the manger, but as the victorious King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He will come with power and authority.  He will bring an end to evil and wickedness.  He will bring punishment to those who love evil and hatred and corruption – to all who rejected Him in this life.

But to those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ He will bring peace.  No more war. No more disease. No more violence. No more hatred.  No one will harm another person.  No one will ever again be hungry or fearful or lonely or sad. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4).  We will never be separated from God.  We will live forever in perfect peace.

Do you long for this peace? Do you, like me, ache to see an end to evil and hatred and corruption and violence?  Do you know the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, as your Savior and Lord?  This helpless baby in the manger can bring you everlasting peace if you will believe and trust in Him.  Let today be the day that you make your peace secure.

Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, I want this peace that will never end. Today I turn from sin and turn to You.  By faith I receive you as my Savior and surrender my life to You as Lord.  I receive Your promise of everlasting peace.  Amen.