For as accomplished and resourceful as humans may seem, our minds have a limited capacity when it comes to understanding some of what’s seen and unseen. Jesus used story in the form of parables to help us understand who He is and how we are to live. In fact, Jesus’ own story does the same thing. His story helps us grasp who God is and what He wants us to know. The story seems unbelievable. So much so, we often can’t get past the sentimentality of it, especially this time of year. Keeping Christmas sentimental is our way of coping with how fantastical it seems, or worse, keeps us from the larger message and meaning.
Consider the pregnant virgin traveling with no place to stay. A stable where a trough made for feeding animals would become Jesus’ bassinet. Angels appearing to shepherds. A paranoid king putting a bounty on the baby. Wise men being guided by a star to find the child. That’s the storyline. But what is it saying? Here, again, we see God bringing the enormity of His love to within our reach. God entered the world in the lowest place. The extraordinary became ordinary. God emptied Himself and became vulnerable.
Love lowers before lifting. It empties before being filled. Maybe we can just begin to understand.
I’m looking forward to spending some time with you this week as we focus on the wise men who visited Jesus. They presented Joseph, Mary, and Jesus with three unique gifts and we’ll learn about what those gifts represent. Again, there’s more to the story than we might imagine.
What’s one way you can self-empty today? Jesus showed us how.