We made it! It’s finally Christmas Eve. Tomorrow all the food we have cooked will be eaten, all the presents unwrapped, the surprises revealed – and it will all be worth it!
The final thing I love about Christmas is…Christmas. And by that I mean the fact that we celebrate and remember that a small baby was born to an unwed teenager in a shed full of hay and animals.
At Christmas, we are very good at singing Away in a Manger with lyrics that romanticise the whole thing. The words ‘stable’ and ‘manger’ no longer have the meaning they did all those years ago. We have sanitised it and tidied it up, when in fact it was dirty and smelly.
For all the women out there: can you seriously imagine giving birth on some straw in a draughty hut with no one there to help but a guy not much older than you with zero experience in childbirth. And you know how whenever someone comes to visit you and the new baby in the hospital, you or the nurse make them wash their hands before holding your newborn baby? Well, think about being a new mum and putting your baby down to sleep in a trough that animals had fed from leaving saliva trails and bits of chewed up hay.
Not so romantic when you think about it, is it?
And I think the fact that Jesus came as a baby can sometimes distract us from who He really was, and diminish the importance of the event.
We get fooled by the small beginning. We think about babies and how cute they are and forget that this was the most incredible event to ever occur on our small, dirty, tennis ball of a planet.
My challenge to you this Christmas time is, don’t be fooled.
Don’t just remember a small baby who was born thousands of years ago, contemplate a great God who is present now.
I dare you.