We had the Christmas play at church the other day, we even had wise men in a vw and a camp Christmas tree, it was hilarious yet called irreverent by some… Then on the Sunday we had a more traditional telling of the story through bible verses and a film.
It made me think more about that nativity story.
But scrap every nativity story you’ve ever heard or seen.
And think of how you’d want someone to appear to you if they were to save you.
Maybe it’s a bit like superman? Someone flying through the sky, rescuing you out of that burning building, bringing you to safety…
Or perhaps you’re more of an incredibles guy? You want a big strong superhero that can hold everything back from hitting you.
Or maybe you want a mighty warrior to come, with the powers to remove all the bad in your life and in the world…
Think of those as a nativity story. Your little girl, not being an angel or a star… but being superwomen shooting through the sky. No donkey, no stable, but a mansion, a sports car, a mighty warrior, a person that pulls you out of the wreckage but then leaves you and you’re not quite sure what happened. You just really hope they’ll turn up when you’re next in trouble.
As you know, that’s not what happened. That natiivity set you dig out every year doesn’t display any knight in shining armour, or spiderman on the roof, or batmobile parked outside.
It displays a baby in a manger.
How does that even work? God, in a manger, in a stable, in Bethlehem, born through an ordinary girl. No one special. Nowhere special. How does that make sense?
What does that baby in a manger show us?
Here is God, completely humbled, coming into our world just as we did, living in this world alongside us, walking those dirty streets, doing an everyday 9-5 job, and being born in a stable!
How does this tell us how we can approach God? And how God wants us to approach him?
If you see a baby aren’t you drawn to it? Doesn’t it capture you’re attention? A new born baby, aren’t you somehow even in awe at it? You certainly wouldn’t be scared of it, if you’re anything like me you’d be completely captivated by it, wanting to hold it, wanting to get closer to it.
And this is how God comes into our world, as a baby, someone we can hold, someone that grows up just like we do, someone that is gonna live in this world just like you have. This is someone we can relate to, who wants to relate to us.
Heaven came down to earth that day, but not in a way that we would have imagined, but in a way that we can understand. There was no superhero saving then disappearing, there’s a baby coming to live with us, to save a people to himself for eterntity, to be with us throughout all our days.
“I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10&11)
We sang this song at church the other day and it completely displayed for me what happened in the nativity story. Just take a look at these lyrics…