Monday, 22 April 2019

Another nice mess we’ve gotten into...

OVER the New Year period many cinema goers were taken back to their childhood days, either through watching the sequel to the 1964 film Mary Poppins, or Stan and Ollie, a film based on Laurel and Hardy’s final UK tour.

Although the latter is based in 1953, long before a number of us were born, those of us who grew up in the Seventies and Eighties will no doubt recall many of these slapstick comedy films that were a regular feature on our televisions.

And one of their famous catchphrases, repeated in many of their films, found Oliver Hardy facing a predicament for which he blamed Stan Laurel, saying: “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into.” (Yes, that really is what was said!)

Another nice mess... not that there was anything particularly nice about some of their scrapes!

But isn’t this phrase an apt commentary on life in general, especially in our day and age?

Whether it’s national issues, such as Brexit, or global issues, such as the environment, or even more personal issues, such as some of the messiness that we experience in our daily lives, how often do we find ourselves in precarious predicaments? And how often are we inclined to blame other people, or perhaps even God?

It strikes me as if human beings are always looking to pass the buck!

Of course, this is hardly surprising as, right from the word go, the Bible teaches us that this has been so. The first man sought to blame the first woman for his wrongdoing, with God very much implicit in the crime! The first woman then pointed the finger at a serpent. And so the story continues right to this day! It is always someone else’s fault, and ultimately therefore, God is to blame!

Thankfully, God knows his creation well and at just the right time he did take that blame upon himself. Isn’t this what we were celebrating just a few weeks ago? The birth of Christ; that God became a human being, in the person of his son, Jesus, and that he stepped into our messiness and took it all upon himself, so that not only might we be blameless but that we might also experience his help in the midst of our mess.

Of course, that can only become a reality for each one of us if instead of seeking to blame others for our own mess, we acknowledge the error of our ways and ask for God’s forgiveness.

For his promise is that not only will he forgive us, but that his presence will also be with us as we work through all the messiness that this life brings.

We might be nearing the end of January, with many of our resolutions already broken, but this is one we can make, and remake, at any time, no matter the “nice mess” we might find ourselves in.

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