Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas! Christ is born. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! The world in darkness has seen a great light, and God delivers hope for all mankind in the form of a tiny baby.  The event goes unnoticed by the majority of the world.  A few shepherds who were keeping watch over fields, three wise men, some animals, a few miscellaneous citizens from Bethlehem, and one king who fears what the baby means for him, are all that take note of the event that forever changed the world.

The story is Jesus's own, of course, but it is also ours.  We have played each of the roles in the Christmas tale many times over.  We are Mary, carrying Christ inside and going through hardship in order to bring Him out of ourselves and make Him present in a world that is sometimes welcoming, but often confused or threatened or even indifferent to Him.  We are Joseph, trying our best to give to Christ what we think He needs only to find that the best we can offer Him is a messy stable for shelter and a dirty manger we've hastily scraped as clean as we can so He can have a place to rest His head.

We are King Herod, so threatened by what we think Christ is that we try to destroy Him and every evidence of His existence so that our lives don't have to change.  We are the townspeople of Bethlehem who refuse to let Christ in because our lives are too busy, too full of other things for Him to find room there. We are the Inn Keeper, someone whose heart isn't quite ready to make his best room ready for Christ, but who still can't completely shut Him out and so offers the messiest, dirtiest spot in his life to Christ only to be shocked and amazed at the way Christ transforms our entire lives by that one action.  We are the shepherds, busy with life and work when someone interrupts our lives to tell us where to find the hope and happiness we've been waiting all our lives to receive and so we rush to find it, leaving everything else behind.  We are the angels, bearing the news of Christ's hope to others.  We are the wise men, desperately seeking after hope and finding it where we least expect it.

We are the stable, our lives messy, littered with crap, and full of animal passions and animal desires that Christ transforms as He enters into it.  We are the manger, trying to give to others in our own way, rough hewn and roughly treated, feeling ignored and neglected, taken for granted and then suddenly being allowed the greatest honor of all - being the resting place for the God man, the bed of the Savior. Yes, we are all these things at some point in our lives.  So, this Christmas, ask yourself: Where are you in this story?  Where do you want to be?

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