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The man who got his hands dirty

26th June 2012

The man who got his hands dirty

Photo of man with chiselOver the years I have known a few people who were happy to work hard and get involved in messy situations. Helping to fix buildings or cars, digging gardens for free, or spending spare time with demanding and needy people. These folk have always been heroes in my mind, because they don’t just say the right things, they do the right things in practice. The thing I love most about the Christian faith is its raw commitment to the real world in all its mess. God doesn’t sit on a cloud offering wisdom from a distance, he enters into our world as a human being, raised under the pressures of the Roman Empire, in poverty, earning his way at first as a builder/carpenter.

The story of Jesus is a picture of a gritty, brave man, happy to touch lepers and prostitutes, because he wants contact. He was prepared to be criticised by the authorities, who thought he was guilty by association. Jesus went even further of course, taking on himself all the mess and corruption of the world, carrying it on his back at the cross. Whatever your picture of God, can I encourage you to take another look at Jesus. A real man’s man, yet able to cry in public. The wisest human ever, yet uneducated in worldly terms. He still extends a hand, no matter what your story; so why not give him a moment and see what happens?

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