Your Mess Is Mine
by Sarah Taras
Hold on darling, this body is yours
This body is yours and mine
Well hold on my darling
This mess was yours,
Now your mess is mine.
Bring me to your house,
Tell me you’re sorry for the mess,
Hey, I don’t mind…. your mess is mine.
-Vance Joy, Mess is mine
Everytime I hear this song, the gospel rings through my mind. What are we as sinners if not messy? I realize we are more than “messy” and much has been said to critique the word use, but whatever- we can stand there- tight lipped and adjust our seminary ties filled with judgment and sneer over a word or perhaps- perhaps we understand our absolute depravity and then we are free to look at our hearts and lives- not to mention our relationships- and say “what a freaking mess!” It does describe our condition well, doesn’t it? I’ve got some good news for you if you can admit what a mess you are:
Jesus loves messy people.
Jesus gave up his glory in heaven and he came down and joined our mess (see Philippians 2:6-7). He became like us. He was born in a stable- a barn. We beautify that situation on Christmas with our nativity scenes that gleam sweet with peace and fresh hay. I’m not so far removed from the reality of barns because I grew up in Texas. I can promise you that Jesus’ first breath of oxygen into his tiny newborn lungs, was rank with the stench of manure and animal sweat. It’s safe to say that Jesus was immediately acquainted with the mess of this fallen world- and what’s more startling is that he chose it. He chose to come and be in our mess over Glory. He willingly took our mess (our sin) onto Himself and then broke his own body for us.
Our broken, fallen brains struggle to comprehend the way Jesus lived his life. God himself didn’t set up shop with the “squeaky clean pious country club of good guys”. No- his posse rather, was comprised of the outcast fishermen, tax collectors, lepers, prostitutes- the dirty untouchables. The absolute screw- ups. The messy who knew they were messy.
When Jesus was invited to dine with the religious elite, he was a terrible party guest because he constantly called them out for being painfully blind to their own self righteousness. Their lack of love and separated-ness. Their false deluded belief that they were strong keepers of the law. They couldn’t see their utter sinfulness because they were busy keeping up appearances thinking that was enough- just be better than those dirty sinners. What these men called clean- Jesus declared unclean: does “whitewashed tombs full of dead man’s bones and all uncleanliness” ring a bell? In a startling contrast, when we finally can call ourselves unclean? Jesus cleans us himself.
And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” (Isa 6:4-7)
The places that Jesus loved to visit were the homes of sinners- the cheats, the liars, the frauds of society- those that didn’t know they should wash before eating- those people, the wretched sinner- Jesus declared clean.
Now you pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within and behold everything is clean for you.” Luke 11:39
Jesus came to save the messy- those who cry out “Woe is me! I am a mess and I can’t fix this!” He shows up in the homes of our hearts cluttered with dirty laundry that we try so hard to keep hidden from everyone else because we believe everyone else has managed somehow to have less sin than us. To you, my fellow Pigpin He says, “I see your mess, your ugly dung heaps of sin that you can’t wash away no matter how hard you try. I see the mess and I want you anyway- so much so that I broke my own body for you. Give your mess to me.
…..your mess is mine.”
“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them saying, “This is my body which is given for you….” Luke 22:19