it’s hard to believe, but i do think i’m enjoying the christmas season more and more with age. you love it as a kid because of the toys and the fun and the food, but then there’s a lull and you really only appreciate getting a few new things and getting a break from school. but then you re-emerge as an adult and see beauty in things that you never realized were there before. it’s a good thing.
this morning at church was a wonderful celebration. we did the typical worship songs that i do enjoy, but the worship band is good about tossing in some traditional carols and i LOVe how they’ve done them up. sooo much fun. after the “god rest ye merry gentlemen // we three kings” medley i wanted to say, yes yes, the other songs are nice, but more, more of the carols! however, i’m greatful that they don’t listen to little old me because my own epiphany came during a “normal” song.
the past few weeks i’ve been wondering, “why a baby?” and have had no thoughts. i’ve also done little in the way of research. my intentions were to take some of the Hebrew bible prophecy and see if i could see any reasoning there as to why God would start it all with a little baby. why doesn’t Jesus just show up on the scene to do his thing all grown up? i love the birth narritive, but why do we pay such attention to this?
i started to think about how many of the great stories of dieties coming to earth had to do with taking on human properties, having a weakness and teaching a lesson. i know very little about greek/roman mythology and i just didn’t have the energy to expand my understanding.
but today we sang a song that included in the chorus words from the psalm, “Who is this King of Glory? the Lord, strong and mighty!” i found it quite ironic, especially as i held and saw so many little babies. strong and mighty? i just couldn’t imagine that the wise men and the shepards would have this psalm in mind as they visited jesus in the manger. i imagine there would be great praises of hope along with some coochy-coochy-coo. but strong? mighty? this little creature can’t even hold his head up on his own, let alone the sins of the world.
but then i started thinking about how God is able to see things in a way that humans tend not to imagine. when God picks out a helper, he rarely uses who we think he would. first example that comes to mind is how the people picked the big, strong Saul to rule them first. failure. so God picked teenager David to be great among his people. he was able to see something in him that, as we first read the story, doesn’t appear to be evident.
and God does that with each of us. daily i’m reminded that there has to be something in me that i don’t see, that God does, otherwise he wouldn’t go through all the effort of guiding and keeping and directing me. sure, he sees my every shortcoming. he knows that i’m stubborn and prideful and think about myself waaaay too much. he’s watched the numerous times i should’ve said “i’m sorry” but just cried instead. he doesn’t close his eyes to that. he just sees more.
jesus had the same amazing way of dealing with people. time and again we can read stories of how he sees something in people. a potential. but more than that – a hope.
so i wonder if using a baby as the “strong and mighty” is just another way that God is inviting us to see the world as he does. if we can see the hope in this tiny creature, perhaps we can begin to see the hope in the rest of the world. if God can do such amazing things through tiny little wrinkled hands and feet – such as provide redemption for the whole of the world – then perhaps he can do something amazing through him. or her. or even me. maybe if we start to see hope in all things and situations, knowing God is infinately bigger and stronger and can do anything with anyONE, then perhaps the reason for the season will change the rest of our years.
we can only hope.