The Story of Christmas | Ordinary People, Extraordinary God
Christmas is upon us.
On Monday, I drew your attention to the innkeeper in the story of Jesus. In the midst of busyness and responsibility, he lost a prominent role in the story of Jesus. Today, I want to highlight the common denominator between the players in the Christmas story.
The Savior of the World—one who would rise from the dead after a brutal crucifixion—was born in a humble stable. Not how one might expect a King to enter the scene.
After Jesus was born, the Bible says an angel appears to shepherds in a field nearby and tells them Jesus was born! Luke 2:9 says, “The glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.” Can you imagine? MORE angels appear and start a hallelujah chorus: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” The shepherds leave their flocks and go to worship Jesus. (Worshipping Jesus trumps responsibility).
God’s angels appeared to unimportant shepherds whose job it was to watch sheep night after night. The modern-day equivalent is hourly employees working the night shift. Nothing glamorous about it. The angels did not sing over the homes of the religious leaders, the palace of the King, or the offices of the high government officials. Why? Why a bunch of men sitting in a field watching sheep?
Mary, a 12 or 13-year-old virgin, is chosen to carry God’s Son in her womb—not the daughter of a King or even a well-established or wealthy woman. Why did God choose Mary?
JESUS CHRIST does not enter the world by chariot or with an army behind Him—but as a helpless baby through the womb of a trembling teenage girl.
What do these details of the Christmas story tells us?
God always uses ORDINARY people to play an EXTRAORDINARY role in His story of redemption. Translation? You don’t need to make a name for yourself, get your act together, or be someone of intelligence or importance to play a role in God’s story. The Bible shows us God continually chooses the foolish, the unqualified, & the inadequate to do His work. Why? Because He gets the credit, not us. He wants people to look at the story and say, “Only God”. Only God could have sent His Son to live among us. Only God would choose an unimpressive teenager to carry the Messiah. Only God would have the ‘heavenly hosts’ singing to shepherds. In the end it’s about His glory, not ours.
Paul’s letter to the Corinthians says:
Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? …Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. [The Message]
We may be ordinary people but we worship an extraordinary Savior! Will you step into God’s STORY this Christmas? Will you trust Him? Will you allow God to use you to bring redemption to a broken world?
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