This season more than any other, much of the world is open to acknowledging Jesus. Maybe it’s because Christmas is about a brand new life coming into the world. It’s the story of a baby being born into less than ideal circumstances – the scandal of a pregnant young woman not yet married, in a culture that had no tolerance for such, and the difficult journey to a city where the only accommodation for giving birth was in a barn.
Certainly not where we would expect the savior of the world to be born, right?
This tiny human whose umbilical cord had to be cut, most likely by Joseph.
Who amidst cries gasped for his first breath of air.
Who had to be changed and nursed.
Who in time, had to be bounced, walked, rocked, and all the other things that new parents learn to do to get their babies to sleep.
Who gurgled and cooed and spat up, just like we all did.
The cries, gurgles and coos of the Messiah, those very first sounds of a newborn – that’s what Mary and Joseph got to hear on that first restless night.
And then everyone comes, from the wisest to the loweliest – from magicians in the East to shepherds in the fields – to see this newborn baby. This tiny creature swaddled by his teenaged mother, lying in the barn animals’ feeding trough. This tiny six or seven pounds of divine and human flesh who would change everything.
For all the generations in between.
Because it’s about a baby and his imperfect family, it’s a story we can relate to. But it’s more – it’s about a God who chose to become relatable to us.
A God who became one of us.
Not as an adult, but through the unfathomable miracle of being born. God came to earth in the most unlikely form, the most vulnerable human form. The innocence of a newborn. Innocence that never left.
God chose to enter into our humanity from beginning to end.
To be Emmanuel.
God with us.
That’s why we celebrate.
May our hearts be turned ever more toward Jesus this season and always.
And may this Christmas be filled with the joy and peace of knowing God is with us.
All of us.