Birth of Christ was no ordinary event

Published 9:03 am Friday, December 21, 2018

As a child, I loved waking up Christmas morning and running into the living room to see what Santa Claus had brought me. I used to like Christmas more than Easter because there was way less work for a much greater reward. While the Easter bunny always made me hunt for some eggs, Santa Claus left all my presents in one, easy-to-spot location. Year after year, I grew to expect the convenience of having all my presents in one place, the comfort of opening them in my own home, and the cheap costs of getting them for free. That is what I call a great deal.
While we don’t believe in Santa anymore and we have learned to recite “Jesus is the reason for the season,” it seems that many of us are still looking for the Gift of Christmas in a great deal. We only look for Jesus if He fits conveniently into our lives. We only worship Him in the comfort of our churches. We only follow Him if the costs aren’t too great. We have taken the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed Him under our trees to be wrapped in shiny paper and tied up with a bow. However, it would do us good this Christmas season to be reminded that God often works in the messiest of situations, the most ordinary of individuals, and the simplest of means.
In Luke 1:46-55, Mary declares, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever.”
We may like to think that God only uses those who have their ducks in a row, their clothes ironed, and their problems tucked away neatly in their closets. However, the birth of Christ shows us that God uses the least of these to accomplish His will. He chose a teenage mother and an unplanned pregnancy as the way in which His son would be born. God’s son was born in a manger fit for a peasant rather than a palace fit for a king. His birth was welcomed by shepherds, a group from the lower classes of society. When the Word became flesh, He did so in the humblest of circumstances. The birth of Christ is not just some folk tale. The birth of Christ was and is God’s declaration that power and privilege will be found among the weak and lowly rather than among kings and rulers.
I pray this Christmas that we see once again that God moves, works, and waits for us in unexpected ways. We often feel pressure to beef up our bank accounts so that we can give, but God says that a cup of water in His name goes a long way. We often believe that we must have eloquent speaking abilities if we are to prick someone’s heart, but God says that even the messy practice of confession can change someone’s life. We often believe that we need to win some political election to “win back the country,” but God says to seek first His kingdom and righteous and that He would take care of the rest.
You don’t need power. You don’t need money. You don’t need resources. You need God. If Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, turned the world upside down through a virgin maiden, a group of shepherds, and the humblest of entrances, then believe that God can do something with your life. Our culture tends to assume that “average” and “ordinary” are negative words. But average and ordinary people are exactly who God wants to fulfill His plans in the world.
(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton, and his associate, Hunter Greene.)

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