Wednesday, November 2
A strange way to save the world
Scripture: Ezra 3-4, Luke 2
Luke 2:6–7 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 Then she gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
God came to earth as a baby! I tried to imagine what this was like—the Creator of the universe coming to our world, not as a king or a Marvel character, but as a fully human infant. Hungry, naked, crying, completely vulnerable. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for God. If I came into the world as a slug…even that is not close.
Then add that this baby was born to a young Jewish couple, most likely both teenagers, who were poor peasants. And he was born far from home and family; the couple had been forced to travel to their ancestral village for a Roman census while she was full term. And when they got there, no guest rooms were available; they were forced to bunk with the animals, and lay the newborn in a feeding trough hastily transformed into a cradle.
Everything was opposite of what you’d expect for the arrival of the king—and not just any king, the King of kings. The Lord Himself…come as a helpless baby.
It reminded me of one of my favorite Christmas songs, “A strange way to save the world.”
We love the heroes of the Marvel movies who use extraordinary powers to save the world. But God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). He saved the world by coming as a humble and helpless infant and dying as a shameful criminal.
Not how we would do it.
Not how His disciples imagined it either. James and John, lusting for power, asked for the top spots in His kingdom. The others were upset that James and John beat them to the punch. They argued over who was the greatest, and Jesus reminded them that the world’s rulers exercise authority and domination. “Not so among you,” He said. “The greatest will be the servant of all.”
“Not so among you.” But like the disciples, we still long for power and authority, forgetting that our Lord and Leader came as baby and left as a criminal. We need to rethink our desires for power, and recast them as desires for service.
We need to follow our Leader into humility, dependence, trust and obedience. Not lust for more power. As a group, we evangelical Christians need to rethink our desire for political power to save our country. And as an individual, I need to eschew all power grabs and be willing to embrace weakness and obscurity. It’s the strange way He came to save the world.
Prayer: Lord, this is good timing for me. You know that I really struggled with this yesterday…so today, I’m embracing again the call to follow You, and that is not the path of power, but humble service. It’s still a strange way to save the world!