Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is hearing the good news of Jesus being born proclaimed by Christians and non-Christians alike through Christmas carols. People of all ages know the story of Jesus coming to earth as a baby, even if only because they are singing about it 

Perhaps God knew that Jesus coming as a baby would make a longer lasting impression than a king coming to earth, like the Jews expected to see Him. If Jesus had come as a king, the people of that day would have treated him differently. The world's attention would be captivated by this "king" and every move He made, but would that wonder have remained through the decades and centuries to follow? If He had come as a king, my guess is that people would have looked back at Him as just another ruler who wanted to bring His way to the earth. Many men have made a resounding impact on history as a ruler. No one, except Jesus, has made a resounding impact because they were born.

Let me put it this way: If God has come in a big, grandiose way, perhaps the wonder of His coming that leaves people singing songs about it today wouldn't have mesmerized the world for years to come.

God knows how we as humans think. He knows that the unassuming birth of a baby in a stable - with miraculous happenings surrounding the birth - would captivate the attention of the world throughout all time.

Speaking of attention and fascination, last night Erik and I were reading Luke chapter 2, probably the most common telling of the Christmas story. After the shepherds were visited by the angels, this is what happens (verses 15-18):

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

I noticed that after the shepherds spread the news of baby Jesus, "all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds." 

They wondered and marveled at the news - but they didn't rush to see Jesus. I don't know if that happened or the Bible didn't include that part or it wasn't the culture of the day to visit new babies, but I got stuck on that last night. In my head, that "wonder" the Bible records could have been, "Wow, that's a great story!" or "Really? That's crazy!" and as soon as the shepherds left, "Wonder if that really happened!"

Did they chalk up the story to drunkeness or craziness on the shepherd's part? Shepherds were low on the totem pole of life in those days. Did they truly believe what had just happened? Maybe they did and they were truly fascinated, but I wonder if the news changed any of their lives. 

So I ask myself this: do the wonder and miracles of the Christmas story mesmerize me? If so, do I let that wonder transform my belief in God and remind me of His miracle-working power? Or do I just chalk it up to a crazy tale?

All that to say, may the glory of Christmas and the wonder of God's story truly fill your hearts and lives this Christmas season. 

Merry Christmas! 

Love, Erik, Laura, and Baby Brayden...

....and Tucker!

P.S. Last year, I wrote another post about Christmas that also explores the wonder of the Christmas story. If you're up for another read, you can read the full post here.

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