Crooked Sticks

“Straight licks with crooked sticks” is a bygone country saying for getting effective results from imperfect instruments.  Matthew prefaces his account of the birth of Jesus with a list of those in the Messianic ancestral line.  It is filled with “crooked sticks.”  Even the two biblical VIPs, Abraham and David, were seriously flawed and sinful, despite their critical roles in paving the way for Messiah’s coming.  They certainly did not deserve their place in God’s plan.  Crooked sticks, indeed.  But if God would invite those in Matthew’s genealogical list into His story with their flaws and foibles, sins and stains, there is a place for us as well.  We are all crooked sticks.  But if we place ourselves in God’s hand, He can use us to hit “straight licks” in the accomplishment of His plans and purposes.  No matter your personal flaws and past failures, God invites you to join Him in His unfolding story of redemptive grace.  Embrace that grace today and rejoice that Jesus entered into time and space that first Christmas, crooked sticks and all.