This year with the birth of Prince George the contrast is all the more clear. Yet, Jesus, who deserved a birth far beyond that of any earthly royal, was born amid livestock and placed in a manger. No comfortable hospital with the finest care one could imagine, but a birth and lodging barely protected from the elements. Even in His first moments on this earth he displayed truth of scripture:
Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. - Hebrews 2:17Praise the Lord that the story does not end there.
While His birth may not have been marked by massive crowds celebrating in the streets or the attendance of political and religious dignitaries, it exceeded any fame they could bring. Angels, first one then an entire host of them, radiating the glory of God, proclaimed for the very first time the good news from heaven - that a Savior had been born. Good news and great joy not only to Israel, but to all people.
The means of His birth - meek and lowly, continually reminds us that Jesus' greatness came from identity as the Son of God, not outward appearances or human expectation.
The royal entrance, not a traditional grand display, demonstrated that His ways are indeed higher than our ways, and that humanity's understanding of God was being stretched as Jesus revealed more of the nature of our magnificent God. God in the person of Jesus, was no longer physically distant, but with us in absolutely every respect.
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. - 1 Corinthians 1:27-29The long expected King that came for each of us affirmed by those chosen to join in the celebration.
A rag-tag bunch of shepherds - not those highly esteemed by society's standards, but those with willing hearts to receive and spread the news that the Messiah, the anticipated One, had arrived! In joy and excitement they could not contain what they had seen. Then in following days, the wise men came. Men who held onto the hope and promise in the glimmer of a star - following it until they found the true Light of the world.
So much blessed symbolism of the life Jesus had come to live - the people he would interact with and the message he would spread of faith, love and hope without regard to social class, previous sins, wealth, intelligence, or physical traits. He had come that all of humanity could seek Him and find Him.
May we not forget this Christmas the majesty and humility of Jesus showing up and dwelling among people not so different than us.