In the dead of winter, light was born. On a floor caked with dirt and in a stable filled with the smell of unkempt animals – alone, unexpected, quiet. God with us. One moment changed all of earth’s relationship to heaven. In an instant, the architect inside His own design. Humble. Lowly. Unknown. That’s Jesus. God born into a world of absolute chaos. And sometimes I wonder if that night felt any different. Did anyone in Bethlehem other than the shepherds know that an infant, born in the most uncomfortable and unconventional way, was Yahweh – I Am – The King of Kings. It was a silent night bursting at the seams with the extraordinary.
For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. ” | Isaiah 9:6
During this season, we are so often captivated by the flashy, the spectacular. We are moved by lights and music and celebration. We move towards one another in love and joy, and into something grander than ourselves. I’ve always loved this part of Christmas. Joy is an outflow of worship – of being moved by the birth of our salvation. But I think there’s a call here to notice something else – the quiet, the unseen, the overlooked. Because that’s how and where God came to us.
Everyone expected God to enter the world in the most beautiful, loud, and noticeable way. They expected something royal, honorable. The most glorious entrance for the very son of God, but God has nothing to prove. He doesn’t need us to notice His entrance into the world because He is fully beautiful and powerful in all that He is, and that’s not what the cross was about. That’s not what Christmas is about. It was all about His sacrifice, His service for us. For us. The God of the world breaking through the mess and bringing life – His life.
And, that type of humility is what’s really captivating. That kind of love. It’s quiet and unassuming. It’s exactly the opposite of what we would expect. So let’s be drawn into that kind of love today, let’s fix our eyes on the glory of our little king, born in the most broken of places. His birth announced only to the marginalized and the outcast. The kind of love that doesn’t demand anything and gives everything in return. That’s the unexpected, out of the ordinary, beautifully humble gift of Christmas. Immanuel. God with us.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and freedom to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of our God’s vengeance;
to comfort all who mourn,
to provide for those who mourn in Zion;
to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
festive oil instead of mourning,
and splendid clothes instead of despair.
And they will be called righteous trees,
planted by the Lord
to glorify him.” | Isaiah 61:1-3