The child was born to an unwed mother in a shelter built for animals. She couldn’t afford hospitalization and had no insurance or HMO to her name. The man who stayed close to her wasn’t the baby’s biological father. To his credit, deflecting the taunts of coworkers and the gossip of neighbors, he stuck by this woman. He said he loved her—and also the baby who grew quietly inside her. But was that enough for a future? A blue-collar laborer, his financial future was already cloudy at best.
Soon after the baby’s birth, government officials declared the infant should be taken out of the home. By force, if necessary. Informed of the court order, and with little money to their name, the man and woman secretly left town with the infant, headed for the border, and took refuge in a neighboring country, surviving there on the mercies of strangers.
What hope would we hold for such a child? What good end could come from such a pitiful beginning? Would it surprise us that he was branded a troublemaker as an adult, a criminal, and died violently—death by capital punishment?
But to this child, this man, we owe our very lives—all that we are or could hope to be.
We know the story of this child all too well…and yet maybe we don’t know it as personally as we could. The miracle of Christmas was not simply that God came to us in human form, but that he came in a way that was so unexpected. The Prince came as a pauper. He changed this world from the bottom up.
Not much has changed two millenia later. The child-man changes us today by coming to us in the unexpected form, the illogical lifestyle.
The miracle we need at Christmas is the intervention of the unexpected. In this age, when we have so much pre-packaged and figured out, we need something much different.
Shake our assumptions.
Shatter the cynicism.
Surprise us with a pure, rich breath of awe and amazement.
Yes, we find comfort with routine. We are secure in our regimen. But we need so much more in this life.
This Christmas, look for more than you expect. Seek something beyond the ordinary. Believe the unbelievable—that even now we can be better, deeper, different than what we imagine.
It happened then and it can happen now.