Run to Jesus. Also, change your sock wearing habits.
Have you ever heard of ‘odd sock syndrome’? I suffer quite badly from it. On days where life is not going well, I often find myself looking at the odd socks that always adorn my feet. What sort of an idiot would have a ‘Where’s Wally?’ sock on their left foot, and a Santa Claus one on the other?
This syndrome can easily get out of control. Sometimes, I begin to see other faults in myself, like the cruel things that I say to others, or my laziness, amplified a million times by lockdown.
Do you ever suffer from something like that?
If you do, then there is hope for you.
It all comes down to Christmas. This is for two reasons. Firstly, opening presents, watching Shrek on TV, and eating yourself into a coma will always cheer you up. Secondly, and most importantly, the Christmas story gives people like you and me hope.
In the book of Matthew, we find the story of Jesus’ birth. After giving us a very exciting family tree, Matthew tells the story of Jesus being born. Joseph and Mary get engaged, before the excited groom realises that his bride is already pregnant. For some bizarre reason, he isn’t thrilled. As he decides to end the relationship, an angel interrupts him.
The angel says:
‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you will call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ Matt 1:20-21
In the culture where the Bible was produced, names were very important. Jesus’ name is no different. It means ‘God saves.’ The angel explains that Jesus ‘will save his people from their sins.’ In the next verse, Matthew tells us that Jesus has been prophesied about before. In that prophecy he was given the name ‘Immanuel (which means God with us.)’
Jesus is God, and he has come to rescue his people from their sins. He has come to rescue them from the evil past that they have, from the things that they do wrong, but just can’t stop doing. Ultimately, that means that he has come to die, taking the punishment for the things that they have done, and to empower them to live a life that is different.
If you ever feel like there is no hope for you, like you are a lost cause, a sinner without any ability to change yourself, then you need to know that Jesus came for people like you.
Some of those reading this blog may be hearing this news for the first time. If you are, why not drop me a message to find out more.
Most won’t be. Most readers will be people who have some experience of Christianity, and can confidently say that they know all this stuff. Yet, they still suffer from odd sock syndrome. They still look down at themselves, see the stuff they keep doing wrong, and are thoroughly disappointed. Perhaps, as they have heard preachers tell them what to do, how to think, and what to pray, they feel like they are just falling farther and farther behind where they are meant to be. They know they are a Christian, they just don’t think they are a very good one.
Let me just remind you of the truth: Jesus saves his people from their sins. This message is true for people who are new to Christianity, but it is also true for the veterans as well. When we become Christians Jesus takes care of the punishment for all of our sins. From then on, day by day, the Holy Spirit changes us into better people. Both were made possible by Jesus’ work on Earth.
If you are a Christian who is struggling, there is still abundant grace in God. Take yourself to him, again and again, and ask, again and again, that he might create in you a new heart. I can assure you, even if you don’t feel it, he has already started.
In the meantime, please start wearing odd socks. Wear them as a symbol of how you don’t have your life together, and as a reminder that God can save you anyway.
For an informal bibliography, see page 2.