Completely helpless and dependent. Poor. Hunted by the authorities. His birth was announced to a band of stinky shepherds. Three foreign “kings” were the only others who paid much attention.
His family situation was somewhat unusual, given the whole virgin birth deal. Grew up in a nondescript, backwater village. Learned a humble trade at His earthly father’s side.
The Light Of The World put skin on and walked among us, and He began the journey in an animal feeding trough.
No one would write that story. Strip away the lights and carols, and Jesus’ birth becomes an implausible tale with an incomprehensible premise that requires unreasonable suspension of reality. Sensible analysis leads only to one conclusion: “Yeah, right.”
God simply wouldn’t send His son into a stable, would He? He wouldn’t subject Him to that sort of indignity and humiliation. No parent would knowingly, willingly send a beloved child from glory to rags, would he?
On its face, the story of Jesus’ birth is absurd. It’s not the way you send a savior into the world.
This is where I’m supposed to explain it, talk about how it all really makes sense if you understand God’s character and the big arc of the bible story. I could do that, but explaining it makes it smaller.
We do that with authentic mysteries, whittle away at the edges until the clouds are gone and we can wrap our human brains around what remains. Then we pretend that what remains is the whole story.
The birth of Jesus, how it happened, why God chose to do it as He did, is a mystery. Conceived by the holy spirit, born of the virgin Mary.
I don’t know how that works. But I believe it, every bit of it.
Especially the absurd parts.
Thanks, Jesus, for being beyond my understanding.