“Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.” ~C.S. Lewis
Whenever I listen to Handel’s Messiah, my heart leaps as I hear the words sung: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.” Those words are sung over and over again until they crescendo to the titles of Jesus, “And His name shall be called, Wonderful. Counselor. The Mighty God. The Everlasting Father. The Prince of Peace.” Those words fill the celebration of this day, for we commemorate the day that the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace became, for us, a tiny babe, born in a stable.
If you ever go to the shepherds’ field in Bethlehem, you will be struck by the humility and poverty that embody the nooks and crannies that the shepherds used to watch over their flocks. Certainly not the place for a new born king, the places where shepherds sought shelter were rough, dirty, and small. They provided some semblance of safety but not of comfort.
The little stable in which Jesus was born was like many others. Yet, His birth made that tiny stable grander than any castle or fortress of any king. The all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God was born in those close confines. The earth could not help but exult. Angels joined in mighty chorus as they heralded the birth of the Promised One and humble shepherds gathered to see what had been proclaimed.
It is a safe bet that none of those who peered in upon the baby in that tiny stall had any inkling at all as to the majesty they were witnessing. How could a God so big and powerful allow Himself to become someone so tiny and defenseless? That, in and of itself, shows us how much God truly loves us. We have been created in God’s image and likeness. In His love for us, He took on our frail humanity.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Those eight words pack more theological punch than anyone else could say. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Those words bespeak the depth of God’s love for us. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Those words are the fulfillment of a promise made to us by God that He would send us a Savior to set us free from sin and death.
The story of salvation history is not over today. It just begins. From this moment until the celebration of Easter, we will watch the tiny babe grow, come into His own, teach, perform miracles, die on a cross, and rise from the dead. This day we herald the fact that a babe was born to us: the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
FAITH ACTION: In your gathering with family and/or friends today, make time to sing Christmas songs, tell Christmas stories, and share your joy over the birth of Jesus Christ.