Christmas always evokes pleasant traditions and memories. It is hard not to recollect celebrations of our Lord’s birth from our childhood. It is entirely appropriate that we react this way. After all, the angel of the Lord himself told the shepherds that his message was one of “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”
There is another aspect to the Biblical account of our Lord’s incarnation that was and is far more dramatic. Jesus came to poverty, opposed, even to the point of his attempted murder, by a thoroughly corrupt and evil king, an Idumean (Edomite) trying to hold on to his ascendency in the face of Obadiah’s prediction of the total demise of his people. The holy family fled the country for foreign soil and then led an unspectacular life in Nazareth amid persistent rumors of Jesus’ origin in fornication (John 8:41).
None of this represents what we would consider a proper grooming for the Prince of Peace. Everything about Jesus seemed ordinary and inauspicious. No one in his youth saw him as destined for greatness (Luke 4:22). Galileans were held in contempt in Jerusalem as a backward, hill people.
People still judge Jesus and his kingdom as something to be held in contempt. Their contempt, however, flies in the face of the total extinction of the powers that opposed it and their religion. Today they can only be viewed by their ruins and museum artifacts.
In recent weeks, many powerful men have fallen when a small amount of light has illuminated their sordid ways. Imagine what changes will take place when the Holy Spirit spreads His redeeming grace into the darkness of this world!
We are on the winning side of time and eternity. That victory was guaranteed when Jesus became man. Nothing God does comes about by man’s methods. Hang on; it’s going to be a thrilling experience.