We comprehend more today than our ancestors could ever imagine, but it comes with the cost of a diminished ability to marvel, don’t you think? We want to understand everything – and think we do, but in the process we lose our child-wonder.
A divine birth is predicted thousands of years ahead of time, then announced by heavenly host on the night it actually takes place.
Enough to make us amazed – amazed enough to make us believe.
Countless nativity scenes surround us at this time of year. Plastic, pewter, porcelain, wood, and live ones outside of neighborhood churches. We’ve heard the greatest story ever told, believe it’s all there is to know and allow the familiarity and tradition to dull our awe. But, I want to look past the earthiness to the loftiness to be struck with details.
I want to be a part of the breathtaking story, when the God of Wonder stepped down into our world to enter the human race in a specific womb, to be born of a dirt-poor couple to trade His throne for a trough. Real people at a real time in history, to fulfill a real promise to mankind. To me-kind.
I want to see the flesh and blood nativity traveling seventy miles on a donkey to arrive at just the right place, at just the right time . . . where there was no room for the virgin bride swollen with pain to deliver holy offspring on a silent night.
I want to see Joseph, the one who seems to be placed under the crèche to make it a family, the one who played the huge role of caring for the chosen mother and the Messiah-baby to become a Messiah-man.
I want to see the frightened shepherds who left their sheep to find the Lamb, fascinated under a canopy of planets, looking to the stars remembering the promise of Isaiah, the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness on them the light has shone 9:2.
I want to hear the angels praising high, while knowing Bethlehem would pave the road to Golgotha. Shepherds and angels sending out birth announcements.
Christmas is more than an annual event to get wrapped up in, it’s a life-season meant to draw us near to the Christ who didn’t remain in a feeding trough. “Christmas” was planned before creation to acknowledge the great lengths our God went to because humanity needed a Savior.
The next time we pass by a nativity scene, let’s add ourselves, not among the plastic tradition and the trite, but within the flesh and blood awesome message of the manger, so we can hear Advent telling us to stop and be amazed by the details.