The splendor of the first Christmas

By Dave Henning / September 9, 2016

“The splendor of the first Christmas is the lack thereof.”- Max Lucado

“And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.   She wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”- Luke 2:7

In Chapter 1 (“Ordinary Matters”) of More to Your Story, Pastor Max Lucado observes that the Christmas story “drips with normalcy.”  Hence, that normalcy defines the essence of the Christmas hope- God indwells the everyday nature of our world.

Joseph and Mary- hardly subjects for a PBS documentary.  They live a difficult, but not destitute life.  Similarly,  Max notes, we have stood in Joseph’s shoes and heard what Mary heard, albeit not from the innkeeper in Bethlehem.  Pastor Lucado poignantly explains that we once heard:

” . . . from the coach in middle school or the hunk in high school or the foreman at the plant.  ‘We don’t have room for you . . . time for you . . . space for you . . . a job for you . . . interest in you.  Besides, look at you.  You are too slow . . . fat . . . inexperienced . . . late . . . old . . . You are too ordinary.’ ”

At the first Christmas, no one noticed Joseph and Mary or looked twice in their direction.  Because Jesus didn’t enter the world with Bethlehem decked out like Hollywood on Oscar night, Jesus’ birth occurred in our everyday world.  As Max describes, that’s exactly the world you indwell:

” . . . you live an everyday life.  You have bills to pay, beds to make, and grass to cut.  Your face won’t grace any magazine covers, and you aren’t expecting a call from the White House.  Congratulations.  You qualify for a modern-day Christmas story.  God enters the world through folks like you and comes on days like today.”

Today’s question: How does the lack of splendor of the first Christmas impact the everyday world you indwell?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Understand God’s narrative”

About the author

Dave Henning

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