Luke 2:1-20; Ezekiel 37; Isaiah 60
“And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7) And so, in such simple words, the world was changed. As happens with all great events, all we see are the results: a baby born who would be the Savior. We don’t get a report on the smells of the stable or how noisy it must have been with the animals, the baby crying (yes, He DID cry), or any of the other parts of chaos that is a baby being born. We don’t see a Savior who would breath life into dry bones (the Ezekiel passage). In retrospect, we know that this was the birth of a great light to the nations (the Isaiah passage) but few knew at that time. Even the wise men were months away (presumably) from showing up. (see Isaiah 60:3) So those simple words of Luke 2:7 mask the world changing event that God was in man reconciling the world to Himself. We have many myths that have grown up around the Christmas story. Somehow, the birth of the Savior has sparked the largest commercial event in the history of the world. Yet the simple truth remains: a baby was born, He was placed in a manger, He was and is the Savior of the world. The world changes on simple truths. This is true not only of the world in general, but also for our own personal world. While the world around us grows increasingly complex this simple truth helps us maintain a steady focus: God was in man reconciling us to Him. Science will bring about many advancements in how we live in this world. Philosophers and sociologists may come up with many different ways to live in our world. Apologists may help us rationalize our lifestyles. No message compares with the simple truth. On December 25 we celebrate the birth of a child who had very humble beginnings, and yet changed our world. Emmanuel. God with us. Each and every day. May you experience the presence of God with you each and every day of your life.
Lord God, amidst the trappings and tinsel, amidst the chaos and joy, remind me of Your presence in my life today and every day. Tomorrow, the world will return to normal for most people. Let me never live in a “normal” way again. Let me show others the love and forgiveness that You showed me. Change my life to make me an instrument of Your peace.