I love Christmas Eve. In fact, I think I enjoy Christmas Eve more than Christmas day. I spend a lot of time on Christmas Eve before the rush of family reflecting on the reason for Christmas.
Today, I got to thinking about the contrasts that existed on that first Christmas when Jesus was born. A few things stand out as powerful contrasts in the Christmas narrative.
- The purest of all was born in a dirty stable. Imagine how disgusting that stable was. The innkeeper had to be so busy with the travelers that he had little time to take care of the animals. If each family parked their donkey in there, there had to be a lot of animals in there. And if the animals had been walking along the dusty roads, imagine how dirty they had been. But in that filth, pure baby Jesus was born.
- The most powerful was made powerless. I can’t think of many things more helpless than a newborn baby. But God Almighty became the most powerless creature in the world.
- The one who owns everything now had nothing. According to the Biblical account, Mary and Joseph were a poor family. Newlyweds are almost always poor, but they had their baby with nothing.
- The one who sustains everything couldn’t even hold his head up. The hand of Jesus sustains everything, but a little baby is so helpless, powerless, and weak that he can’t even hold up his head. Babies don’t even control their own body, let alone the universe.
- The independent, self existing One now was dependent on others. The “I Am” who depends on nothing was now dependent on human hands to feed Him, change his diapers, and care for Him for everything.
- The Creator became creation. Jesus, who was there in the beginning and participated in creation, was now part of that creation.
- The light of the world came into the darkness. The world was a dark place. The people of Israel had gone a long time without hearing from God. And in walked the Light of the World.
- Deity became humanity. The one and only God who created and ruled everything became finite. Jesus put away equality with God and became like us, with all the problems that being human brings with it.
- The author and giver of life became vulnerable to death. And He was killed 33 years later. But, of course, God raised Him up and exalted Him higher than all others.
These things will take me more than a lifetime or more to comprehend, but they are all things that I’m thinking about this Christmas. I hope you have a great Christmas, and I pray that these contrasts can draw you closer to the person of Jesus.
I’m contemplating Philippians 2:5-9 this Christmas and the contrasts that it brings.
(Image by c.a. muller on flickr)
Here’s a quick video we made on Animoto to wish you a Merry Christmas. Hope you have a great Christmas!
You can watch it on animoto here.
I love Christmas! It’s definitely my favorite time of the year. I love everything that comes with the Christmas season. I love both the secular and the sacred parts of Christmas.
We recently took the boys to get their pictures taken with Santa Claus. In Mexico, it seems as though the malls compete with each other to see who can have the best Christmas display. The one we took the boys to had a little area where the kids could write their letter to Santa and then stick it in the mailbox for him.
I love the look of wonder and excitement (and hope) on Nathan’s face as we do all of this stuff. Christmas is a wonderful time. Wonder-Full, or full of wonder. It’s because a long time ago, baby Jesus came to save the world. I’m filled with wonder as I contemplate all that this celebration entails.
One of my favorite bands, Third Day, sings a song called “Christmas Like a Child.” The lyrics go like this:
I want to feel Christmas, how it used to be
With all of its wonder falling on me
This season has felt so empty, oh for quite a while
I want to feel Christmas like a child
I want to see snowflakes fall to the ground
My brothers and sisters all gathered around
Singing “Away In A Manager” as we sit by the fire
I want to feel Christmas like a child
It’s been so long now, I can’t say
Just when I lost my way
But I’m going back to how it was
When this day meant everything
And we spent our time remembering
The baby Child born for us
It’s all about Jesus, asleep in the straw
This infant, this King, this Savior for all
So I don’t need bells to be ringing
‘Cause I’ll join with angels singing Gloria
And I can feel Christmas like a child
I want to feel Christmas like a child…
I pray that your Christmas will be filled with wonder and that you can experience it like a child, with all of the excitement and joy that comes with it.
We can’t believe 2008 is already coming to a close. It has been exciting to see all the things that have happened this year. This year has brought many great things, and we want to thank you for your support, prayers, and encouragement throughout the year.
You can download our Christmas Newsletter right here (PDF).
We are looking forward to 2009 and what God is going to do in our personal lives, our family, and in the ministry in Latin America. We are attempting great things for God, and we are expecting great things from Him.
Keep coming back here to ymimexico.org to see what is happening in our lives and in the ministry. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed here.
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Thanks again for your interest in our family and the ministry of Youth Ministry International in Latin America.