How Hope Slipped in at Christmas


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He was born in obscurity.

A couple about to start a family traveled to a small town on a cold night. With no place to stay, a baby on the way, they found themselves in a cave with only a bed of hay.

Angels sang.

But no one paid heed to the bright star in the sky. Except some shepherds watching their flocks. What else was there to do that night?

Kings from afar sought him.

But how many others remembered the prophets of old who foretold the coming of this babe, from the line of Jesse? The family slipped away when Herod set out to destroy the child king.

He lived as a carpenter’s son.

No fame. No glory. No great fanfare. He didn’t become someone people wanted to know. Nothing about him was memorable. If he had been born today, no one would have posted him on Facebook or Instagram or given him a hashtag.

He healed, taught of life and love and fed thousands.

But he had no home. His friends left everything they had to follow him. And for three years he wandered through remote towns and by the sea.

And then he died.

People screamed for his death. Crucified violently. This solitary man who had only ever blessed those he met. He chose to give his life. No one took it from him.

But, he rose again.

Despite a secret cover-up, he showed himself to those he loved. Officials didn’t want anyone to know. “Keep it quiet,” they said. But his quiet power wouldn’t be hidden.

He slipped in silently, but the news of him couldn’t remain silent.

Silent Night, “How silently…” but now, more than two thousand years later, we still celebrate his birth.

Christ-mas.

This year, this song spoke to my heart about how Jesus came to us. How he whispers his love and hope to us. How gently he takes us from our broken places and leads us forward into freedom. Thank you, Jesus. Happy Birthday.

Merry Christmas. To all.

 


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