Happy Tuesday and happy Christmas week! We are settled in eastern Oregon for the next week and a half to celebrate Jesus’ birth with my parents.
From the outside, this Christmas is unlike any other in our family. We have been so transient that no place feels like “home” anymore. 95% of our Christmas decor is packed on our shipping container. And finances for gifts became a lot tighter when we moved to full-time ministry support earlier this year.
From the outside, it doesn’t look much like Christmas.
But our modern-day trappings hold no light compared to the glory of that manger scene from millennia past:
Joseph and his very pregnant betrothed traipsing into a new town looking for a safe and comfortable place to stay… and landing in a barn. Even as an infant, Jesus met us where we are.
Angles proclaiming the birth of a baby to the prime audience: shepherds in the countryside. Even as an infant, Jesus looked at the heart.
And just when life settles into a routine again for this little family, an entourage of nobility from the East arrive to worship Jesus. Even as an infant, Jesus bridged the gap between Jew and Gentile.
From the outside, there isn’t much glory in a barn, shepherds, and weary travelers. But that’s only when we forget the magnitude of what God did: He sent His only Son, born of a virgin, born under the law, to fulfill the law that we may know Him and accept the salvation He freely offers through His death on the cross, burial, and resurrection.
We pray that this year, we are all able to look past the differences and “not-quites” and instead remember the baby in the manger for who He is: the promised and foretold Savior of the world.
We’re signing off until next Tuesday so that we can just enjoy some family time.
In the meantime, Merry Christmas, friends! And happy birthday, Jesus.