Christmas Readings: Isaiah 9.1-6; Titus 2.11-14; Luke 2.1-20
“The angel said, ‘You have nothing to fear. I bring you good news, a great joy to be shared by the whole people. For this day in David’s city a savior has been born to you, who is Christ the Lord. Let this be a sign to you; you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’”
Many people today may identify with how unusual Jesus’ family is. His mother is not married when he is conceived. His mother’s husband is not Jesus’ real dad. His mother is still a virgin, probably still a teenager. Mary and Joseph face all the challenges any child presents new parents, but Luke’s story also tells us their baby is extraordinary–the savior, the messiah, God’s Son.
These titles make claims about who Jesus is that eventually get him arrested and condemned to death. Angels announce Jesus’ identity to shepherds and give them and us a sign. The sign is the baby lying in a manger, a feed trough. Jesus’ first crib hints he will give his life to nourish ours. A manger is a place of low status, a place among animals and shepherds who live at the margins of society. The child is good news for the poor, joy to all of us, and safe with temporarily homeless parents making do.
Where might Jesus be born today to express God’s willingness to identify with all of us, especially the lowly and left out?
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