God is besotted with mankind. We are always on His mind, our names written on His hand. Even so, sending Jesus to partake in humanity is a huge step. We are included, brought in. Baby Jesus is God’s commitment to us, the Almighty taking on frailty and vulnerability for our sake. He becomes Emmanuel, God with us, no longer the mysterious deity in the heavens.
We, whose best will never be good enough, are invited to live our lives with Him. He is no deity looking down disapprovingly from on high. Our God comes among us as one of us. His commitment to us is as absolute as His love for us. He comes, knowing what we will do to Him, willing to pay any price for us.
A baby is born in the dust and dirt of an occupied land. There is no palace, no throne, no banquet. He is ordinary yet God, the second Adam, bringing once again what was lost and offered, rejected and brought again. (See Genesis 3 and Exodus 19).
A baby is born, dependent on Mary and Joseph for many years, Son of God entrusted to parents to feed, clothe and teach him everything. Is this divine madness or exceptional love?
This is to be a quiet entry into the world yet heaven breaks out and sings the amazing news to a few poor shepherds. Already it is the poor, the ordinary who receive the good news. Their response? When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. Luke 2:15-16 NASB
Royalty’s response was, “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” Matthew 2:3 NASB. God didn’t choose a safe, prosperous time to come. He came when the time was right into an occupied, violent land looking for a different kind of saviour. Many would misunderstand him, many would follow then forsake him. He came anyway, driven by love.
And so, thousands of years later we still worship and revere Jesus our King who never sat on an earthly throne, allowed himself to die at our hands and still loves us with a fierce love.
May you find his peace, joy and love today.
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