For those who know me and probably even those of you who don’t, it’s no secret that this is my favorite time of year! I LOVE Christmas and everything about it. In fact, I love it so much we had a Christmas-themed wedding! I adore the festivities, lights, music, get-togethers, ALL of it.
Okay, just FYI, I may get a little John Acuff on you right now. (If you don’t understand that reference, click here: “The Jesus Juke”.) This weekend I was thinking about how much I love the holidays and all the glitz and festiveness and…I Jesus juked myself! At the moment I literally rolled my eyes at myself, but today I was thinking about it again.
No matter how you celebrate the holidays or what you actually believe, there’s no denying that CHRISTmas began as a celebration of the birth of Christ. I’m not talking about the traditions that are associated with other belief systems, I’m not talking about Santa, I’m not even talking about giving presents; I’m just talking about baby Jesus being born at an inn, swaddled and laid in a manger.
It is amazing that God, Creator of the universe, would choose to send his Son to the world as a baby. What’s so amazing to me is that this baby was like any other baby (except for that little fact that he was actually the Messiah) who was completely dependent upon his mother, earthly father and others around him, and he had to learn everything from scratch just like any other baby! Like MY baby!
Which, on a side note…I wonder if Mary ever got tired of the seemingly endless “MOMpetition”? (You know, as in competition.) Well, even if she did, hands down, she was the obvious winner: “Say what? Is my child flying yet? Pppssshhh well, even if he’s not flying yet, he’s the Savior of your baby, so you know…” But I digress. (And no, I don’t literally imagine Mary to be as catty as some moms, but it is interesting to imagine her dealing with some things I deal with as a fellow mom.)
I see my son, 15 months old and know how many incredible things he’s learned over the course of his life thus far, and I can’t really comprehend the fact that Jesus came as a baby. When I read through the gospels in the New Testament, Jesus taught so many ideas that were unfathomable to some of his listeners; they didn’t always understand his point because they were looking for principles that had a much different focus or outcome than what Jesus taught.
In the parable of the mustard seed, Jesus talked about how the mustard seed is the tiniest of all seeds, and yet when it grows and transforms into a tree, it is the largest plant in the garden (Mark 4:30-32). He said that is what the Kingdom of God is like.
In light of this Scripture, I think about Jesus coming in to this world as a teensy baby. Most people believed the Messiah would come and set up an earthly kingdom of great grandeur on the earth, but his kingdom was heavenly and didn’t happen in the way a lot of people expected it to. He is the greatest King of all, but many don’t even recognize him as such.
As I read throughout Scripture, I’m reminded over and over again how the principles of God are often contrary to the way the carnal mind works. For instance, just like the parable of the mustard seed, God often uses the smallest, least extravagant things to make a point and glorify himself.
He is teaching me not to discount ANYTHING or ANYONE, because regardless of what those things are now, regardless of who those people are now, in his hands they can become the greatest, strongest testimonies of who HE is. It’s not really a profound statement, but it is one thing to know it in your head and another to believe it in your heart.
So as we are in the midst of this Christmas season, keep in mind the character of God and the wonder of his most precious gift: Jesus. In his hands, EVERYTHING and EVERYONE can become greater declarations of who this King truly is, no matter the circumstance and situation right at this moment. The worst possible situation in your life could become your saving grace. The least likely person you know might become one of the greatest witnesses of God’s transformative power.
This is the character of God and the kind of miracles he does.