"And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:4-7
Lowly and simply He came.
Mary was stretched, swollen and endured the pain to complete the labor.
She saw past the scoffers, took God at His word and believed.
There were no kings to offer her a prize for her faith, no facebook or instagram 'likes', no viral youtube video of her describing her 'angel encounter'.
Just child like faith - followed by the speculations of others, body contortions and pain.
Yeah. Lots of pain.
No one threw her a baby shower, in fact, it was only because God told Joseph to hang in for the long haul that the town didn't shower Mary with stones.
Ah, yes, pain. Loss. Disappointment. Rejection.
Nine months later, is everything all peachy? Not so much.
Glorious? Yes. Miraculous? Yes. Merciful? Blessed? Yes, yes.
There is NO ONE like our GOD!
He takes the weak, lost, broken, misused, torn and destroyed. Puts them under a little pressure - and, behold.... all things are made new.
He took one of the most beautiful of things - a new born baby - and two thousand years ago, placed it in the lowest place, a smelly, messy barn.
He takes that same beautiful Son and places Him in the lowest place, in me, a smelly, messy sinner.
How can I understand this? It is the Ugly/Beautiful that I can be thankful for, even if I can't understand it.
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
No, you wont recognize Him, the King of Kings, by the royal entourage, or the jeweled crown on His head. No, it's not that baby. It's the baby sleeping in a feed trough. It's the Savior who makes Less of Himself, and Much of His Father. It's the Beautiful prize, the Savior of the World, that will be sleeping with the cattle and the dumb sheep.
And later, when He is grown, you wont find Him at the feasting tables of the great kings of the earth. You'll find Him eating bread and fish with the poor. You wont find Him in the company of the respectable, the proud and reputable. You'll find Him in the house of the tax collector [aka; town cheat], or the hooker, the heartbroken and the leper. You'll find Him seeking the lost, the broken, the ugly.
He took the low road. The one where people questioned His motives, where they scoffed, ridiculed and spit on His face. He chose pain. Yeah. He chose to take all the pain and endured the wrath so I might be free. Me, this messy, awful, selfish girl. This dirty, broken, cheat. I sold my heart to the world like a cheap hooker, and yet; He took pain for me.
That is the Christ we are meant to imitate. That is the Christ the heavenly hosts praised God for when they sang, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!"
Will you sing with me? In your brokenness and your post-Christmas-mess-disorder?? In your ugly-sugar-crash state, will you sing of the beauty that chose to seat itself within you?
Merry Christmas to you, you in all your ugly/beautiful glory.
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