It’s that time of the year when quite a number of our tribe are preparing to fly south in search of warmer weather and sunshine after Christmas. What to take and what to leave behind is a big question.
Ever thought of a conversation in heaven between the Father and the Son? “J C, I’ve good news and bad news for you.” “Ok Abba, let’s have it, the look in your eye is making me nervous.” “The good news is you’re taking a trip, the bad news is it’s not all vacation time.”
Jesus’ Father elaborated, “To be honest there’s really no upside for you in this, other than knowing that you’re undertaking the most ambitious, audacious, and under-appreciated rescue mission the world will ever witness. Most of our creation are so numb they don’t even realize they need rescuing.” The three of them (the Holy Spirit wasn’t about to be ignored) discussed the options with various pros and cons. Why not descend from heaven with an army of angels or get attention with a few more plagues to show that God is alive and well, or a flood? “Can’t bring another flood, remember the rainbow and our promise?” the Holy Spirit interjected. God the Father continued with a nod, “This is about expressing love and mercy, not just power and authority,” they agreed. “We’re not fighting human beings but the spiritual forces that enslave them – our strategy has to be creative, unexpected, and culminate in a resounding victory.”
None of these events caught them by surprise, they’d anticipated this trip since the dawn of human creation. It was merely the recognition between them that ‘the time has come to implement’. After a lengthy conversation and many questions finally the conversation turned to, “What shall I take with me, what should I wear?” “Son, you’re taking nothing with you, and you’ll be arriving naked.” “What?”
And so it was the King of kings agreed to do his father’s bidding. His port of entry would be in a cave with mud, hay, and donkeys. His mode of transport involved a long journey in the womb of a teenage girl who would have little comprehension of his identity. There’d be no extra privileges other than a guarantee of safety and some protection, no emergency packs or bodyguards, only the word of his Father, “I’ll be with you always, trust me.”
The first breath Jesus inhaled amidst the splutters and gasps of any infant being born were met with joyful exclamations from his parents and the inquisitive gaze of a donkey that raised its head from the feeding trough to see what all the fuss was about.
On the surface of life everything looked normal; ‘just another birth in Bethlehem’. In the bigger picture the Kingdom had arrived in embryonic form to infiltrate enemy territory. Thirty years in the future Jesus would stand as a man ready to demonstrate the love, power, and humility of an extraordinary God with a heart of compassion and a will of steel. But for this week we remember the remarkable beginning when God became like one of us, born as baby who would grow through childhood into manhood so that we could get to know him and His Father. “Happy Christmas” doesn’t seem to do the moment justice at all….. “Thank you so much Lord for your indescribable gift and for including me in your list of recipients.” May you be blessed with revelations of Him this Christmas.