12.24.2011

uncommon christmas

Christmas has become so familiar for many of us. We know the story by heart, from the virgin to the shepherds to the wise men. But let us not forget how incredible Christmas really is. So much of the story that we're used to simply... doesn't make sense, in a wonderful and amazing way.

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The virgin is with child. It's a common Christmas phrase, but the thought is completely uncommon. Can we blame the people for not believing Mary's story? Would we have believed it? I don't think I would have. I may have felt sorry for Mary, sorry that she was so desperately trying to cover up her sin. But could it be true? God is not bound by the logical.

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God became flesh. Wait, wait, wait. God: infinite Creator, Star-breather, Almighty Jehovah. God was the voice on Mount Sinai, the hand that caused the plagues in Egypt, the One who David praised in psalms. This incomprehensible, unfathomable God - a baby. The power of the Most High God in a tiny, helpless, human. God with us. Emmanuel. It is staggering.

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In a manger. How sweet, the nativity scenes we love. But when we stop and think... it's... ridiculous. Read the paragraph above once more. And now picture that God being welcomed to a barn. A little stable with no recognition but from the animals and the angels far above. Picture a barn you've been in, maybe one you own, or maybe just a petting zoo several years ago. And picture a tiny baby set in the midst of the animals, the filth unmoved, the stench as strong as ever. And not just any baby: Jesus. The God of all, the Savior of the world. In a basket of hay.

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The shepherds came. Of course, how could our Christmas story be complete without the darling shepherds. But in reality, the shepherds of Israel were outcasts, uneducated, unclean because of their nonreligious life. Yet the first to welcome the King of Kings, the Almighty God, were the shepherds who probably didn't even fully comprehend the meaning. This was God simply demonstrating His unconditional, almost upside-down love.

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But what was to come is even more uncommon. That the baby would grow. That Jesus would continue as God, fully God, and as man. That He would be in relationship with people, He would train disciples, the very people He created inside and out. That He would die to set us free. That He would be our only hope.

Even now, He is our only hope. He is the world's only hope. Do not let the story of Christmas become common, but share this unbelievable hope.



   







1 comment:

  1. Excellent post! I was saving it in my "Google reader" until I could sit down and think about it as I read it. Thank you for sharing this amazing truth, how miraculous and illogical Jesus' birth was. Oh our God, so awe-inspiring.

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