As I was winding down after Christmas in this gap before New Years I reflected back on the Christmas story after a prompting from a message I heard. The characters in the Christmas story are actually not very tidy like we see in nativity scenes.
Joseph and Mary are young, on a long journey, and facing disgrace. Mary is 9 months pregnant and riding a donkey. Typically there would be family around when one delivered a baby, but they were alone in a dirty stable birthing the Savior. Shepherds were the lowliest of people, dirty and outside of much of society yet they were the ones first alerted about the baby Savior and were the spokespeople that the Savior was born.
Herod a powerful ruler wants the baby killed. And wise men total outsiders from the chosen people of Israel are compelled to follow a star to go and see this baby savior. And when these outsiders see the baby they bow down and worship him and give him gifts.
This Savior is not “normal”! His conception is miraculous, he enters the world outside of all human constructs of high religiosity, he can thwart the evil intent of a powerful man, and this baby can be worshipped by total outsiders, and his spokespeople are from one of the least revered sociological strata of the day.
The birth of Jesus provides a backdrop for the hope of the world. He comes to us against all that seemingly would be expected of a king, a savior, God himself.
As we go into 2021 we have this hope that is beyond the natural things of this world. We can overcome, we can endure not because of blind faith, but rather because our savior came in a manner showing us he is supernatural. Or faith is based on something personal yet: “out of this world”. And he uses us – broken vessels – to further be his spokesmen.
You may be facing a lot, or you may be rejoicing for all you have. Either way there is a man who is God that you can rely on, trust and depend on because he came to us showing he is not of this world. And thus your hope is the same.