The angel said to [the shepherds], “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. (Luke 2:10-11, NIV)
The other night we took our daughter’s dog, Rio, on a walk and enjoyed seeing all of the Christmas decorations in the neighborhood. One house had a rather large Nativity Scene displayed in the front yard and it caught our attention. It was lit up, included all the characters in the story, and even had “Joy To the World” ringing out from a speaker hidden deep beneath the straw.
Rio was intrigued by the cow in the scene. It was funny to watch her stop and cautiously stretch out her neck to touch noses with the plastic beast. Once she realized it wasn’t real and all was safe, she lost interest and we kept walking.
My attention was on the child at the center of the display, and as we walked, I pondered the Creator of the Universe, stooping down, coming as a baby and living among us . . .
The scene of His birth wasn’t on the front lawn of a sleepy little sub-division, it was in the midst of poverty, struggle and danger. Jesus came in the flesh and lived with us in the humblest and most ordinary conditions. He lived quietly, faithfully, obediently and lovingly as He walked the rough and dusty roads of this life—through sorrow, suffering and ultimately to death on a cross “for all the people.”
Jesus was born to us—to save us. He didn’t come to us as a model, example, teacher, healer, or guide. His agenda wasn’t about Heaven or Hell or politics or popularity. It was all about you and me—living today in this very harsh and hard world.
He came to us as a flesh and blood baby, to live among us and save us from sin and all the hopelessness, sorrow, separation and loss that it entails. Jesus is the Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe and the baby in the manger. He is real and in Him we are safe.
As we wrapped up our walk, I found my pondering had turned to humming . . . “Joy to the World.”