When the angel visited Mary and told her God was going to give her a messy miracle, she said yes. “I am the Lord’s servant,” she responded, accepting the complicated and unexpected grace God was offering her. Her understanding of her identity and God’s character enabled her to face this difficult challenge with boldness and confidence. She trusted that God would be faithful, even in the mess.

Since we know the end of Mary’s story, her story reminds us that we cannot weigh the cost of what we know against the rewards we cannot even imagine. When Mary said yes, she embraced God’s plan in place of her own. She was not disappointed. That young girl couldn’t have know that her obedience would pave the way for the salvation of not only her people, but for all of humanity. Mary’s example encourages us to accept God’s invitations, even if they’ll make our lives messier in the meantime.

So, what messy miracles could God be leading you to this Christmas? Here are three that He may invite you to participate in:

1 // Inviting someone to join your Christmas celebration

If you invite someone to join your Christmas this year, it will likely make it messier than you expected. You might have to pick them up for service or attend a different service than your family usually does. Your table seating might get all messed up so that you can squeeze one more person in at the table. Those are small inconveniences compared to the opportunity to invite someone into God’s story at Christmas. When you invite someone to join your celebration—even in its imperfections—you’re inviting them to discover God’s love for them.

2 // Reconciling your relationships with family

Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” For some of us, this can be most challenging with our families. Is there someone who you have a strained relationship with? Someone you haven’t spoken to for a time or who has been ostracized from your family? Do whatever it takes to say “yes” to reconciling with them. It probably will be messy, but God may surprise you with their reaction. While you aren’t responsible for their response, you are responsible for expressing humility and love, creating the opportunity for God to do a miracle in your relationship.

3 // Reprioritizing your use of time and money

Is this Christmas just like the last? Maybe God wants you to reprioritize your use of your time and your money this season. This could mean being more creative and thoughtful in your gift giving—buying less instead of trying to keep up with the Jones’—or more intentional with your generosity, making sure your spending reflects your values. Or, God could be asking you to say “yes” by using your time differently. Could you spend a day volunteering locally with your family? In our already overcrowded Christmas seasons, the offering of our time can be especially impactful to both us and others.

Like Mary, to have the confidence to say “yes” to hard things, we must know who we are: God’s servant. Let that reality of your identity shape your Christmas season and celebration. You might get to be the the miracle for someone else’s mess this year.



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