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Advent day 9: Mess is Mine

When you think of love, do you think of pain?...

This mess was yours,

Now your mess is mine

Mess is Mine, Vance Joy


Today’s lyrics carry on yesterday’s theme of love and brokenness, but unlike Ane Brun’s soulful but fragile rendition of ‘Ain’t No Cure for Love’, Vance Joy’s ‘Mess is Mine’ has a rambunctious sense of joy about it. This song expresses a sense of wonder, reflecting on the beauty of intimacy in all its messiness.

I often find myself contemplating the refrain, ‘now your mess is mine’, in relation to my own faith. When I look at the Christmas story, and indeed the whole biblical narrative, I see this message written all over it. In the birth, life and death of Jesus, God says to us again and again that our mess has now become His. God becomes man; he takes on our flesh and lives in our messy world.

It can be easy to miss the true messiness of the nativity, because we are so used to the tidy domestic scenes pictured on our Christmas cards, but from what I have heard, giving birth to a baby is a messy process! And if you add mucky cattle and hay into the equation, I can imagine the process becomes even messier…

But what is perhaps even more astounding than the God of the universe sleeping in a smelly manger is the way in which he takes on our mess in the very deepest sense. When he dies on the cross and rises again, He frees us from our fear, shame, and pride, as well as death itself.

Vance Joy’s question about the intrinsically painful nature of love finds an answer in Jesus, the one who knows the true pain of unconditional love, and yet who also shows us that this love is the truest joy there is:

Light and life to all he brings Risen with healing in his wings Mild he lays his glory by

Born that man no more may die.

(Hark the Herald Angels Sing)


This is part of my LittlePonderings series: "Unseasonal Songs: An Alternative Advent in Song Lyrics". You can find out more here.

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