Sunday, December 20, 2015

Come to Bethlehem and See

Okay, so I know that Jesus was born in a house, not a stable. 

And the wise men (of indeterminate number) arrived quite some time later. 

And, oh yeah, Jesus probably wasn't born in December.

I know that Christmas cards and Christmas pageants get a lot of stuff wrong. 

But here's the thing. I don't actually care. 

For me, all the historical minutiae pale to insignificance compared to the awesomeness of the one thing we mostly do get right:

God came down to earth in the form of a baby. 

God came down.

For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son. . . .
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman . . . .
. . . that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

This is the way I imagine the creche scene:

Mary is sitting on the floor, holding the baby. Joseph is looking on in amazement. Shepherds have gathered around. Angels hover overhead.

There are wise men there too--kneeling, offering gifts.

Anna and Simeon have also come to gaze in wonder.

The walls melt away. And then, row upon row, stretching out in endless circles through the centuries, they come--everyone who has received the message this Child came to bring. 

We all come.

Kings come and lay their jeweled crowns before Him. Peasants come with nothing to offer but their gratitude. 

The crowd spills in from everywhere and everywhen, wearing togas, grass skirts, academic robes, prison garb. They come from tropical islands and frozen wastelands. They come--slaves and freemen, generals and foot soldiers, rich landowners and their servants. Princes, paupers. Scribes, illiterate. Victors, victims. Great saints, lowly sinners. 

They come from every kingdom and every tribe. 

They come from ages past, when they could only long for His appearing--Moses, Elijah, Ruth, King David, prophets who foretold His coming--and all the "begats" in the bloodline of Messiah. 

They come from years yet to be, in strange clothing and appearance, when the world is darker still. And yet this Child is still the Light shining in the darkness.

They come joyfully. They come in reverent awe. They come--we all come--as many but as one, to "see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us."

We come to look, awash in wonder. We come to listen, to a baby's gurgle, to the whir of wings. We come to worship, to join our weak voices with the mighty angel choir, singing "Glory to God in the highest."
O ye heights of heaven adore Him;
angel hosts, His praises sing;
Powers, dominions, bow before Him,
and extol our God and King!
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert sing,
evermore and evermore!
-- "Of the Father's Love Begotten," words by Au­rel­i­us Pru­den­ti­us


  1. Merry Christmas, Patti. I'm so glad God sent Jesus to us.

  2. And it is and will be forever...amen. And such joy in being there together and together and together. Alleluia!