I’ve heard the Christmas story multiple times for decades. And I forget to wonder at it. I skim over the manger, shepherds, and wise men. But it is so much bigger than that. The God who created the world stepped into humanity’s shoes to live with us and then take our blame and die. And He came humbly…to a normal girl living in a bad moment in history. So bad that they had to travel to pay taxes and He was born surrounded by animals.
Several hundred years earlier, a prophet told Israel that God was going to save them. Micah 4 speaks about God’s plan…and it was anything but conventional:
“For all the peoples walk
each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
forever and ever.
6 In that day, declares the Lord,
I will assemble the lame
and gather those who have been driven away
and those whom I have afflicted;
7 and the lame I will make the remnant,
and those who were cast off, a strong nation;
and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion
from this time forth and forevermore.”
God often chooses to work through the person that no one expects to succeed. They are often the most receptive to His love, and His work is clearly seen in their lives. But it leaves everyone else flabbergasted.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “God loves the world – not ideal human beings but people as they are, not an ideal world but the real world” (pg 30, God Is In The Manger). It’s not a love we can understand. But it is one we can accept for free.
God, thank You for the Mystery of Christmas. Thank You for working in ways that we do not understand to remind us that You are so much greater. God, please help me to see it with fresh eyes, and enjoy the wonder this Christmas of what You did. You made Yourself so vulnerable. Please help my perspective to change and to freely give the love that You give me. Amen.