Deity in diapers. This was how Max Lucado described the reality of the incarnation. How do we even wrap our minds around that concept? The baby that laid in the manger… made the manger? More than that… He created the mother who bore Him and the carpenter who raised Him!
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
How do we come away from Christmas with anything but amazement…unless we haven’t been looking. How did an entire village miss the entry of the Son of God onto the earth, into our time zone? For them, I believe, it was business. The crowds had shown up! The cash registers were ringing, and the money was flowing. There’s important work to be done! How often have we missed the solemn, silent reality of Christmas because of our busyness?
For Jerusalem, just a brief walk away, it was different. They were looking. They were just looking for the wrong Messiah! Jerusalem was continually being tripped up by false messiahs who would come, lead a few gullible followers astray, and end up having the whole bunch discredited and executed. They knew when THEIR messiah came he would come with the thunder of hoof-beats and a commanding army following. Their messiah was a deliverer who would break the yoke of Rome. The missed the entrance of Jesus because of distraction… maybe even because of deception.
And Rome? How did all of Rome miss the entry of the second Person of the Trinity coming to earth? Rome had it all… power, money, business, art, entertainment, medicine, prestige. It was the center of the world of the day… and she knew it! Rome needed nothing or no one! Rome was the beneficent… not the needy. She was the one the world approached for help, not vice-versa. Rome missed the humble entrance of Christ because of pride… the pride of life which is often the companion of the love of the world. She was self-sufficient and fulfilled. Why did they need a Messiah… to be saved from what?
And so the first Christmas came in the midst of an ordinary day and Deity was laid in the arms of a rural teen aged couple… the hope of the world came quietly and without recognition. We can let Christmas slip by just like those who missed that first Christmas… with our self-sufficiency, our distraction, and our business. Jesus never cries for your attention.
But you are wise if you give it.
Where is He who is born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship Him. (Matthew 2:2)
FOR REFLECTION: Where are you most likely to lose Christmas this year? What can you do to change that?