It's a minute or so into Christmas and I am up late unable to sleep as usual. Thankfully Muppets Christmas Carol is keeping me company. I've been thinking lately about the true theology and nature of Christmas. We've developed a habit of making what was likely an ugly night into something beautiful. Now, there's nothing wrong with that! Not condemning it in the least. The nativity scene is the epitome of servanthood and humility. Even as an infant, Jesus came into the world in a lowly and humble manner. No room at the inn so baby Jesus emerged from the Virgin Mary in a barn. Perhaps echoing the future where Jesus ate with the lowly. I often wonder, as Relient K does in their song "I Celebrate the Day" "The First time, that you opened your eyes, did you realize you would be my savior?" Well, of course. Isaiah prophesied it, heck! It was even predicted in Genesis! God's plan all along coming into reality. The theology of sacrifice wouldn't be what it is today. Jesus is fully God and fully human. He HAD to be. When sin entered the world, a completely holy and perfect sacrifice could be the only thing to erase sin. No amount of animal, grain or blood offering could do so! Only Jesus!
Back to the manger scene, most of us paint the picture of the whole crowd there. Shepherds, wisemen and the family surrounding a seemingly glowing baby. Lovely, yes! Accurate? No. The gospels say the shepherds were tending to their flocks by night, probably meaning Jesus would of been born in the summer. Plus, it may of taken months to arrive in Bethlehem. And we all know that Constantine decreed our Christmas today to be December 25th, coinciding with pagan's Saturnalia. Put that aside, BUT we must know the true facts and why we celebrate the way we do today. I do enjoy the imagery of the nativity because it paints a picture of truth. Would much rather have that on my lawn than an inflatable Santa.
Sacrifice is to be selfless, serving and humble. Jesus was the epitome of that; his birth and death were all of said things. So, no matter who you are Merry Christmas!!