“If Christ had arrived with trumpets and lain in a cradle of gold, his birth would have been a splendid affair. But it would not be a comfort to me. He was rather to lie in the lap of a poor maiden and be thought of little significance in the eyes of the world. Now I can come to him.”
– A sermon excerpt by Martin Luther
I was a huge fan of the television show “LOST.” The mix of mythology and religion coupled with the mystery and pseudoscience told a compelling drama through the character’s lives. I would faithfully watch each new episode and couldn’t stand the six- or eight-month hiatus between each season.
Sadly, in my lack of patience, I regrettably spoiled one of the show’s biggest surprises by reading an online forum that leaked one of its twists. (For fans, it was the ending of season three. I know…tragic!). I had gotten to the end of the story too soon and ruined it for myself.
In a more significant way, I think some of us do that with Christmas. We want to jump ahead to the end of Jesus’ story. We want to spoil Christmas by jumping ahead to Easter and beyond. We struggle to see Jesus as a humble baby. We struggle with the vulnerability of God in this state. We want God to be powerful and glorious, not weak and needing of care.
We want to get that baby out of the manger as quickly as possible!
My encouragement, with Christmas on the horizon, is to keep that baby in the manger for a little while. Fight the desire to jump to the end of the story (which most know so well). By doing so, we can find comfort in the knowledge that God shared in the most common of human experiences. We can celebrate that God was born and because of that vulnerability God has made it possible for us to be drawn closer to God! The birth of the Messiah reminds us that God saves, because God is with us!
May God bless you this Christmas!
(If you are looking for a church to worship at this Christmas Eve, please join us at Hope Lutheran Church at either 4 p.m. or 7 p.m.)