I’m glad that Churches everywhere are telling the “real meaning of Christmas” but sometimes it all seems a little “matter of fact” to me. I think (because of the long time that has passed since that First Christmas) it’s easy to recount the “facts”, to explain the “plan”, and miss the mystery and miracle of Jesus’ birth.
Here’s a few things that are still seem “mysterious” to me in the Christmas story:
- Why God used the Scandalous pregnancy of an unmarried girl to bring his son into the world. Over 2000 years later, our media is buzzing about Britney Spears 16 year old sister being pregnant…it must have been a pretty big deal in an Orthodox Jewish community…certainly not the way any religious expert would have approved of.
- Why God chose a simple man who worked with his hands (Joseph)to be his sons earthly father figure instead of a priest or scholar? (Like John the Baptists Father, Zechariah.)
- Why God chose the outcasts of society, ( shepherds) to be the witnesses of the miracle birth of his son?
- Why God would allow his son to be born in a stable. It may seem quaint and romantic when portrayed in our tiny nativity sets. but it must have felt like an enormous lack of provision and planning to Mary and Joseph that night….?
- Thousands of years later, it’s easy to be “Monday morning quarterbacks” and proudly point out all the prophesies of the Old Testament that predicted Jesus birth. Why didn’t any of the religious teachers of the time “get it”? They certainly knew the scriptures. How did they miss it?
- How is it that the three “wise guys” that did “get it” and travel to worship Jesus after his birth would have undoubtedly labeled “Godless Foreigners” by the religious teachers of the Day???
The truth is: I don’t know. I can’t explain God’s actions back then or today. I believe the lesson to be learned is that if we step back far enough in time we can see a certain portion of God’s plan and providence…but not all. Just like the people at the time of the birth of Jesus I am certain that we are “missing” much of what God is doing today because it doesn’t “fit” into our understanding of scripture and history.
I am completly certain of one thing. No matter how “ill advised”, how “scandalous”, how “risky” God’s plan’s are… they seem to work out just fine… whether or not I, or anyone else, “approve”. Our best “strategy” is to trust and “join in”.