Monday, December 21, 2009
Matt's finger is not hurting him so much now. The blister looks icky and doesn't seem like a normal blister. The burn probably went pretty deep but I don't think a trip to the doctor is necessary. He says it only hurts when he forgets that it's injured and he bangs it on something. It was hard for him to get to sleep last night with it hurting so much, but I gave him some ibuprofen and I think that helped.
Anyway, on to the nativity story, which I was reminded in church today that it's not a "story" per se; it's truth. But it's hard for me to call it "nativity truth." So "story" it remains. Besides, I call recollections of my youth "stories" and it doesn't make them any less true.
So I move on to Luke 2 and I consider the manger. Luke 2:1-7
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 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:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
Now, I've moved a couple of times while pregnant and it is NO FUN. Poor Mary, riding on a donkey or perhaps walking, spending nights in unfamiliar places, probably wondering if the baby would arrive while they were on the road and what would she do then? And Joseph was probably a little worried as well. Will there be someone to help his wife in her time of delivery?
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 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.
I've always marveled at the workings of our Heavenly Father. He sent his Only Begotten Son to be born in circumstances that were meager even for the time. Jesus was born among animals, with little heraldry, I'm sure. It would have been much easier for Israel to believe the Jesus was the promised Savior of the world if he had been born of an earthly king and raised for all the world to see. But he was not. He was born in simple and lowly circumstances. And so faith is needed to believe. Jesus Christ was not born as worldly kings were; where was his nobility that anyone should believe he was sent to save the world? And so God expects us to trust in His plan, even though it might run counter to what we would expect.
Those circumstances are also symbolic for what we need to aspire to be--simple and lowly, or humble. Christ was born in humble circumstances, and when we are "reborn" through our conversion to the gospel, we do so in humility. All pride and loftiness must be stripped away, all thoughts of riches and wealth must be erased. We must be like the manger. We ourselves are the humble, lowly, simple places where the light of Christ can dwell.