Familiar or Fresh?

December 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

We are in those familiar times again.  The times of family and feasts.  It is a time ruled by customs and traditions.  We usually like Christmas the way we’ve done it before.  And yet, there is nothing familiar about the birth story in Luke 2:1-20.  As David Lose writes somewhere, “it’s a story that should not even have been noticed, let alone told again and again across millennium.”  After all, countless girls gave birth that evening.  Luke tells the story in an almost ironic way.  The point is exactly that this apparent insignificant happening somewhere around a manger takes place in the midst of the grand schemes of the politics of emperors and governors (2:1-3).  Against the power plays of life’s so-called “big stories” stands the vulnerability of a pregnant teenage girl.  And the irony is that it is the latter that would change the course of history in the most revolutionary way possible.  The Christmas story only breaks through its familiarity with new freshness if this core dynamic of Jesus’ birth is embodied in our lives.  God with us among the lowly and in the midst of apparent insignificant circumstances is exactly what Christmas is about.  How does this play out in your life this Christmas, and where else do you see Christ this Christmas?

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