Jesus was Born…just let that sink in for a moment. The infinite, uncreated, second person of the Trinity took on human flesh through being born. He didn’t just appear in Jerusalem at the Temple one day. He didn’t descend upon a mountain and wait for people to come and find him. He was born.
And while his birth is not a sacrament in our denomination – it is most assuredly sacred, and holy, and filled with grace. The ultimate expression of heaven and earth colliding is a babe lying in a manger in a far away home. The ordinary has become extraordinary. The subversive – sublime. The one who created us now makes his home with us.
And it all started as he was born –
Born during a census to remind us that in this world we will always have people more than willing to tell us what to do, where to go, and how to live. There will always be competing voices; compelling visions; coercive overseers demanding our attention. Meanwhile, God rests comfortably in a humble out of the way stable acting as a respite; a counter-proposal; and a subversive hope to the claims of the culture. Gentle and mild. Humble and meek. Peace in the midst of chaos.
Born in the city of David to remind us that God always keeps his promises. Noah, check. Abraham, check. David, check. Todd, check…you, check. In an uncertain era it is good to know that we have a God whose nature is fidelity to his word. So, of course he would be born in Bethlehem. That’s what he said he would do.
Born of a virgin so we might be reminded that all things are possible with God. The Lord chose to demonstrate what is possible by showing us that he can handle the impossible. Jesus would say it in his own words to the disciples much later as a reminder that the eye of a needle is more than capable of passing a camel if God is involved. Our Lord is capable. We are in good hands.
Born in a stable/cave so we might know that God’s work may be, at times, out of sight, but it is never out of reach. Our God is a grass roots, walk beside you, share your burdens kind of Savior. Humble. Never pretentious. Approachable. For heaven’s sake and our own – he was born in a barn!
Born in a stranger’s dwelling to demonstrate how dependent we are upon one another’s hospitality. Hundreds of miles from home. Without family or friends to depend upon. The newborn savior was at the mercy of a stranger. What kind of God does that? Entrusts the Word made flesh to a person without doing a background check or asking for references! The kind who says life is best lived giving people the opportunity to help rather than keeping others at arms reach.
Born in the flesh so we might be born of the Spirit. Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, one evening late, about what it means to receive salvation. You must be born of “water and Spirit” Jesus said. The finite and the infinite. The temporary and the eternal. Born of woman and of God.
Born once so we might be born again.
What would it be like to start all over? No, better than that. To start from where we are with all of our past forgiven, our current doubts/anxieties/ sins healed, and our future secure.
[2 Cor 5:17-18] – 17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
That is what tonight is all about. New beginnings. Fresh starts. Open doors. It is literally and figuratively pregnant with possibility.
Please don’t miss this moment. Jesus was born and it is our reminder that the new day has dawned. Let’s be morning people shall we?
Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made to be your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit: through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and forever.