Let every heart prepare Him a dirty room {He doesn’t mind the mess}

Every time I think about the King of Heaven choosing a stable as His grand entrance to the world He’d been waiting to save, I can hardly breathe. It makes NO SENSE. None. And yet it is just like our God of an upside-down kingdom. I wonder if He designed such a coming because He so badly wants us to know: He has no problem with our mess.

Christy Nockels‘ new Christmas album, A Thrill of Hope,  starts with a prelude that takes my breath away. (I highly recommend investing in her beautiful music!) She begins:

The King is Coming

Open up your eyes to se it

open up your ears to hear it

The King is coming

Open up your mind, believe it

Open up your heart, receive it

(Have I mentioned this is beautiful music?)

Waiting for the Coming, for the Healing, for the Saving, we try and tidy up, try to present our best to the King. But who was there to prepare Him room that night in Bethlehem? Not a soul. There was no room – not even a room. No one there to clean up in anticipation of His coming.

God chose His only son to be birthed in a mess of a place. He didn’t mind it; even more He CHOSE it. Let that sink in?

It is the way of our God, to enter in, to take the kingdom with a show of gentle force, exploding in silence, a bomb of saving life into a dark and dirty “home.” He came with no expectations, no pre-qualifications. He delighted to come right into the middle of the dingy smallness of this place that was Holy. Holy because for hundreds of years God’s words rang out over her:

Bethlehem Ephrathah,

you are small among the clans of Judah;

One will come from you

to be ruler over Israel for Me.

His origin is from antiquity,

from eternity.

Micah 5:2

This was the day God planned for His words to come true. And they came to pass under what we would call terrible conditions. God had been waiting since eternity; the world had been waiting since the fall. So what was God waiting for? Apparently not perfection. Surely He could have come up with a “better plan,” a more beautiful entry for Jesus the infant.  To Him, the small town, the stable, the manger, the shepherds – all of it was the perfect place to bring salvation to the world, to reveal His long-anticipated solution.

I wonder what stables are in the lives and hearts of ourselves and those around us that we dismiss as unlivable, unfit, unlovable, beyond hope — but God looks at and says: Yes! This is the perfect place for me to come make myself at home! Can you identify any such stables? What are the ugly places in your life? In your community? What might God be doing in these places? Could it be He’s closer than you think?

“What if I should look ugly without being bad –
look ugly myself because I am making ugly things beautiful?”
North Wind (George MacDonald)

I open up my heart, receive it

Prepare Him room

Open up, that the King of Glory may come in

not by years of preparation

but in a moment of saying yes.


I open up my eyes to see it

Open up, let the light in

right here in this far-from-perfect mess, God

come in and make yourself at home

Come in and make it beautiful.


I open up my ears to hear it

His Words over me coming to pass:

Though you are small

I have chosen you

To hold my glory!


I open up my mind to believe it

such unlikely, stealthy ways you

bring your Rule and Reign

your kingdom come

to this broken, hidden, crowded place.


Give me courage to get my hands dirty

just like You do.

For we are still waiting

and you are still coming

in thousands of ways.

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