Cranky, Stinky, Jesus an Advent Reflection

We don’t often focus on how radical advent is; God showed up into the middle of humanity. My wife and I recently experienced the birth of our first born son. I understand advent better because of this experience. We glamorize and sanitize advent likewise, our society we glamorize and sanitize babies. Babies become cute bundles of joy. But they are also blow-out diapers, middle of the night feedings, hours of cuddling and cajoling, endless crying and total exhilaration at the first laugh, first step, first word.

Advent is radical because Jesus experienced all of this. It can be uncomfortable to think of God as helpless and cranky but that is the Jesus whom we worship and receive during this season of advent. A Jesus with diapers, middle of the night feedings… In short a cranky stinky Jesus who radically loved us so much he endured helplessness, persecution, and martyrdom to show us that love. I encourage you to look for the helpless in your community and see the face of Christ.

Matthew 25:37-40:

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’



  1. Thanks for this reflection, Josh. A good reminder.

    I have always winced at those carol lyric: “…but the little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.” Real baby, real human, making God with us even more of a wonder, as you write.

    Blessings to your and wife during your first Christmas with your son! ps update needed on your bio on this blog about him… : )

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