Sometimes I wonder do we really understand the real meaning of Christmas - that the Incarnate God the Son entered humanity.
All those who were directly involved in the first Christmas - their lives had never been the same again.
Jesus - for sure, moved from the all glorious, all-majestic fellowship with God the Father and God the Spirit, in limitless capacity, entered as a limited, helpless babe in humanity. This just blows my mind away!
Joseph - what if, Joseph had decided to act according to his human logic rather than following the call of his dream (which defied logic), and acted on his legal right to not only divorce Mary, but to expose her which would entailed her to be stoned to death. It would have been much more convenient for Joseph to get rid of Mary and carry on his life? In fact, by divorcing Mary, he would have salvaged much of his dignity instead of bearing the shame.
Mary - what if, Mary had decided to wallow up in self-pity that she had been impregnated without her knowledge who could have done that? It was a tremendous embarrassment for Mary. It was a profound mystery - because never had it been that a virgin could be impregnated with sexual union - it had never had in history and it is a mystery that remains a mystery. Mary might not have went to a biology class but surely she would have known from her relatives, uncles and aunts that a child could only be conceived with a sexual union, half of the chromosome and the X or Y from the father, and half of the chromosome and the X chromosome from the mother. How could it be? Was abortion an option at that time? What if Mary decided to abort the Child? What if Mary decided not to heed the voice of the angels at that time? After all, angelic visitation was a paranomal activity. It defied logic again.
The Magi - what if Magi decided not to travel miles and miles away, probably for 2 years! As Jason Lisle said:
Contrary to what is commonly believed, the magi did not arrive at the manger on the night of Christ’s birth; rather, they found the young Jesus and His parents living in a house (Matthew 2:11). This could have been nearly two years after Christ’s birth, since Herod—afraid that his own position as king was threatened—tried to have Jesus eliminated by killing all male children under the age of two (Matthew 2:16).There was no airplane at that time. It must have been tough to travel on foot for 2 years. It was certainly not convenient.
And Simeon and Anna. The Bible did not specify how old Simeon was but from his prayer (Luke 2:29) he could have been quite old and waited for a long time before he could see Jesus. It was a similar case for Anna - she was 84 years old (Luke 2:37).
Christmas is a time to remember that God took the first initiative. He did not wait for men to be good enough before He came near. May I encourage all of us to take the first initiative. I find that there are a lot of misunderstandings out there on what Christmas really means. If you have the opportunity, explain to people what Christmas really is. Don't wait for people to come, or don't wait for others to be nice to you before you can be nice to them. It doesn't matter if your kindness is not returned with kindness. If Jesus had expected His kindness to be returned, He would never have come, and there would never had been a Christmas..
1. Christmas reminds me of the limitation of human logic
2. Christmas reminds me that if I truly understand and embed the message of Christmas in my life, it is not going to be convenient.
3. Christmas reminds me that a God-mystery always remains a mystery because we can never truly fully understand God. It is not to be analyzed, it is meant to be adored.