Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dirty Jesus

At first glance, Evan’s theology might need a little work.

This past weekend, we hosted several friends at our house for a little Christmas fellowship. Evan grew more and more excited about our guests as their arrival time approached.

He was especially excited about the idea of playing “Dirty Santa.” You know the game, right? Everyone brings a small gift or ornament. The gifts are placed in a pile and are opened one at a time. When it’s time for the second person to open a present, that can “steal” the gift previously opened or can open a yet unopened gift. It continues that way until all gifts have been opened.

The game is fun. It usually brings laughs. And, maybe even a little good nature competition.

As Evan was talking about the game, he couldn’t remember the game’s name. Finally, he said, “You know, that game. Dirty Jesus.”

We couldn’t stop laughing when he called it that. Neither could our guests when they heard what he’d said. Neither could those who read about it on Facebook that night.

Dirty Jesus.

But you know, the more I’ve thought about what Evan said, he’s more right than wrong.

Jesus came from heaven to be born in a dirty stable, with common dirty animals, and was placed in a dirty hay trough. I’ve been in barns. Trust me. Dirty.

Jesus spent His early years as the son of a carpenter, getting saw dust under His finger nails and probably hitting His thumb with a hammer. I’ve been in many workshops. Again, trust me. Dirty.

When Jesus’ earthly ministry was ending, a woman washed His feet with perfume and scrubbed His feet with her hair. When the woman's actions were criticized by those around Jesus, He said that not a single one of them remembered their manners and washed His feet when He entered the home for a meal. Calloused feet. Dirty. Stinky feet.

Jesus walked every where He went. His feet were often dirty. His feet may have been dirty more than clean. Jesus worked with His hands as a boy and dirt and mud were often found on Him and His clothes. Lava, Gojo, Mr. Clean, Ajax, and Tide or Gain hadn’t been invented yet.

Jesus experienced dirt firsthand. Jesus got His hands dirty.

That gives new meaning to “God becoming flesh.” Or, “God among us.” It’s amazing how much God loves us—He even sent His Son to live on our dirty planet and to be like us. And, to experience dirty firsthand.

Dirty Jesus. I’m so thankful for God who allowed His Son to play in the dirt.

And, I’m thankful for my son who reminded me again what Christmas is really all about.

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