By Lydia Jentzen Will
It’s really something to grow up in a family that follows Jesus. As a child, your parents read you bible stories out of the picture bibles and you can list all the great bible heroes, ticking them off on your fingers while reciting the names of these spiritual giants.
Picture bibles are, by design, simplistic. They point to grace and God’s goodness but they tend to leave a lot out. A lot of the hard, dark truths of humanity that little ones are rightly shielded from.
When you grow up, you begin to see things differently. Suddenly the shield is gone and everywhere you look, yes, even in the bible – people are disappointingly human. Your family members, your neighbors, your pastors, your friends, your spouse – yourself. It can be downright disenchanting, this pervasive humanity. It can cause many to turn their backs on Christianity because everywhere they look, they see hypocrites.
Suddenly the shield is gone and everywhere you look, yes, even in the bible – people are disappointingly human.
I was thinking about that on Sunday when Pastor Matt started talking about the line of David, starting with the great King himself. He began by addressing all of the high points of David’s life – and I couldn’t help but interrupt in my thoughts with a litany of his faults, of which were many. Dire.
I’ll admit, I’ve nursed a bit of a grudge against David for a while. How can a man like that be the man that is said to be after God’s own heart? Really? That’s the guy?
All it takes is a few years, a few more mistakes, a few missteps to see – an appreciate – what David was all about. That despite the murder, adultery, failures galore – God still used Him in a big way in His incredible plan to save the world.
For this fallen, imperfect, human woman, that is a heaping dose of hope. If anything, that alone makes this faith so authentic. It has never been about perfect people living perfect lives, but a perfect God putting an end to the death and destruction we’ve wrought.
It has never been about perfect people living perfect lives, but a perfect God putting an end to the death and destruction we’ve wrought.
Out of a rotten, dead, filthy stump, God can grow something world changing. Eternity – affecting. Out of broken, messed up families and the failures of generation after generation, His salvation plan grew into a reality.
It’s the hope of every Advent season. It’s the hope of humanity. And it’s the hope I hold close when everything around me seems wrong.
We’ve all got a little bit of David in us. Even at our best, disappointingly human. That’s why Advent brings us, disbelieving, in for a closer look. The mystery that something so impossible could happen – and did.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8