— Luke 2:7
At the very heart of Christmas we find a rag-wrapped baby lying in a makeshift crib. By itself, that’s not so unusual. Babies show up when and where they happen to be born. Mothers have to deal with it, ready or not. And they do, whether the baby is delivered in a hospital, in a taxicab, or on a kitchen floor.
What’s unusual here is not the rags. Mary improvised, using what was available. And what’s unusual is not the manger. That was just a smart solution to an urgent need. No, what’s unusual here is the baby himself.
Now, this baby has the usual number of fingers and toes. You just know that Mary counts them. This baby has the usual smooth, soft skin. You just know that Mary adores his little cheeks. And this baby makes all the usual sounds: coos and gurgles and wails. You just know that Mary takes in these sounds as sweet music.
What’s unusual about this baby is not his actual flesh and blood, not his appearance, not his behavior. No, what’s unusual about this baby is the identity veiled by his helpless human form. Because this baby is the God “through [whom] all things were made” (John 1:3). This is a wonder.
Son of Mary, help us to wonder as we wander through your story this month. Deepen our faith as we encounter your genuinely human glory. Amen.
2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
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