December 7, 2022

Humble Arrival

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And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! -Philippians 2:8

Winter has arrived with all its icy claws and rasping wind. It’s cold outside.  A wrap yourself in seven blankets, heat up some cocoa and perch yourself by a fire kind of cold. I have no urgency to step beyond my heated home and into that world of wracking weather. In a perfect scene where we have the choice of climate I’m highly doubtful many would choose the below freezing temperatures and mounds of snow.

Which makes me think about Jesus, and His first venture into the world He and His Father created. He didn’t ask to be birthed in the tropics, in a cushy hospital room with a jungle-theme nursery waiting at home. He didn’t even demand the best five-star hotel Bethlehem had to offer. Instead, He started His earthly journey in the back of a dimly lit manger, cattle crying beside Him.

The Lord of life, Savior of nations, exalted in the highest heavenly realms, could have stormed the scene with horns blaring and crown set triumphantly on His head. For all He did for us, He deserved an entrance that would have put any ancient royal celebration to shame.

But that wasn’t His style. It wasn’t the purpose of His presence. His Father brought Him to us with clear intent, and this God in the flesh shook the social circle by acting and saying everything contrary to Pharisee teaching.

The last shall be first.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Everything He did, He did on purpose. And that included arriving in less than desirable circumstances- straw for slippers, a birth announcement greeted by lowly shepherds. Our Christ, a kid.

Funny to think about, isn’t it? I’m more pampered than the mighty Prince of Peace. But His humility, His subtle greeting in a town just a dot on the map, determined my fate. For everything I repulse, He embraced. Every shudder at the obscene, He collected at the cross. Our Lord, perfect as a person. Through His journey, He never complained about His starting spot. Because He knew that through what seemed like unappealing, ordinary conditions, something extraordinary would transpire.

You know something? My frostbite and window scraping don’t seem such a burden after all. Not when Christ has carried the frostiness of man’s disbelief on small shoulders, bundled in the shadows of a stable.

Lord, I have no right to complain at all. You have faced more distress than I could possibly imagine, just for me. My Strong Fortress, Savior of my soul, You could have landed anywhere on earth. But You chose a hidden barn at the edge of town, in the middle of a sleeping city. You humbled Yourself so I might have confidence in Your kingdom. Thank You for paving the way for my victory in You. Amen.

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