I have trouble keeping track of one little character on the Christmas stage too. He was, after all, very small, smaller than all the other humans. Although He was much more than human, He chose, temporarily, to be much less than He had ever been.
And when He finally arrived, fullness of womb meeting fullness of time, Someone thought it would be a good idea to hide Him in a feed trough in a cave.
Even a newborn lamb, least of the beasts resting in the shadows of a nearby field, outweighed this Lamb.
It was the smallest big thing God had ever done, and except for a motley band of shepherds and a mindful mother and foster father, no one seemed to have the faintest idea of what had just happened.
At some point, a donkey joined the show; he’s not in the original screen play, but someone took pity on Mary and decided to give her a ride.
Apparently, the hay in the manger has survived the millennia of story shift; after our church's annual children's living nativity event, it clings to pants and swaddling sheets and dark colored carpet…it looks like this part will be around forever!
The cave has been brightened with discreet indirect lighting (is that manger glowing?), gradually morphing into the cleanest stable you have never seen.
The wise men keep showing up at the manger scene, even though it’s clear in Matthew 2:9-11 that these followers of the first, best GPS, (the S-T-A-R model?) were, well…late. Or at least, not early, and the family was in a house and the Babe was referred to as a child. He was growing, moving beyond the manger.
But when we seek Him, we find Him. Because, again, He is seeking us.
There He is.
Here He is,
with us, Immanuel,
this One whose arrival was heralded as “good news of great joy for all people.”
He had come for one purpose, and from His earliest days, He trod an unwavering path from the manger to the cross.
to be my Savior,
to be the Savior of the world.
The story of our salvation starts here,
in this small One,
lying in this unassuming place,
wrapped in rags.
during this season of holiday distraction,
holy day distortion,
so that we can see You,
so that we can find You in the poorly lit, messy places of our lives.
We don’t want to miss Something small.