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Dirty With Life, by Phil Ware Phil Ware

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    For this is what the high and lofty One says—
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
    —Isaiah 57:15

    “I love the Bible, because God allows Scripture to get dirty with life.” This simple sentence from a friend, sums up the gracious work of God chronicled in the Bible and profoundly demonstrated in Jesus. God is holy and majestic and mighty! But God is not unconcerned, withdrawn and detached from our everyday lives. Because he loves his us, the moment God creates Adam from the dust of the ground to the moment the last of us leaves the planet, God chooses to get dirty with life, our life.

Let’s not forget the gritty truth of this incredible event.
    To know that God is willing to get dirty with life is the crux of what it means to believe in Jesus! John’s opening prologue declares Jesus to the be the Word, the very message of God, who became human and lived among us (John 1:1-18). Luke lets us shout for joy with those who know that Jesus’ presence in their problems is a visit from God himself (Luke 7:16). Mark is emphatic: the Cross reveals that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (Mark 1:1; 15:39). Matthew wants us to know that Jesus, from his conception to his coming back is Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23; 28:20). In each Gospel, the God declares that loves us enough to leave heaven and get dirty with our messes so we can share in his glory.

    As the world begins its sentimental look at Jesus’ birth, let’s not forget the gritty truth of this incredible event. From the manger to the cross, God is soiled with the everyday dirt of our human living. Whether it was playing in the dust of Egypt, working in the sawdust of the carpenter’s shop, placing mud placed upon the eyes of a blind man, washing the dirt off his disciples’ feet, or brushing off the dust of his burial clothes, Jesus got dirty with life!

    God may live in a high and holy place, but I’m thankful that he also chose to get down and dirty with us. When we think of Christmas, we usually think of sparkling lights and shiny tinsel. But let’s not forget that the dust on the Christmas ornament boxes we keep in the attic may more appropriately represent the real message of grace. God got dirty with life so that the dirt could never permanently claim us. We are his children, so he wore the dirt of our world so we can share the glory of his!


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