Happy Birthday Jesus!*
You sure didn’t come in an expected way. Here You were God enfleshed, the Commander of the universe, Deserver of the very best. But You came lowly, humble, and unassuming. Your birth was the most notable and significant in the history of earth, yet it received recognition from only a handful of proletarian shepherds and three foreigners. Again, not what we would have expected. Oh, but I imagine heaven was wound almost dizzy with unutterable joy and excitement as they watched You squirm, wiggle, and cry Your way into this world.
Suddenly sin no longer had a chance as its Antonym had come.
The Savior! Jesus.
“Today, One Who saves from the punishment of sin has been born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord.”†
You became one of us, came to Your own people that we might see the splendor of God’s love. You brought hope to a desperate world.
What if You would have been born today?
The news might circulate something like this: “You know that high school girl that grew up in the yellow house over on XYZ street? Well, she just got married to that older guy named Joseph, the town builder. And now she had a baby! Must be why they had to get married so soon… She’s so young—only a freshman in high school!”
Your mom would tweet, “Just had God’s son. Delivery went O.K.” Everyone would shrug it off—a teenage girl? A few relatives would look at the pictures Joseph posted to Facebook. The YouTube video would go mostly unrecognized with only five views. It’s just another baby that was conceived outside of marriage—one of many happening every day. CNN wouldn’t even blink an eye.
Maybe Your birth would fit even more comfortably within the confines of “usual” nowadays than it did back then…
You certainly didn’t come with pomp or circumstance. Most of the world was clueless about Your birth; You were born right before their eyes and they missed it by their own choosing.
“The Light was in the world, and the world came into being through the Light, but the world didn’t recognize the Light. The Light came to His own people, and His own people didn’t welcome Him.”‡
Would that have been me if I were alive back then? Or wait. Is that me today?
Birth Your way into my life today. Make room in my heart to be Your manger.
A few questions I’ve been asking myself:
• Do I celebrate His birth, and what it means to me every day, or just once a year?
• Is peace, joy, and cheer something that I share at every corner, plus?
• Am I living to express the love, the amazingness, of Jesus?
• Do I give spoken gifts—affirmation, encouragement, interest?
• Is my life a hurried rush of preparation for what comes next, or a gentle pause, catching all the fullness of this moment?