Farmville Enterprise December 20, 2017
Gustavo Gutierrez writes, “The Son of God was born into a little people, a nation of little importance by comparison with the great powers of the time. Furthermore, he took flesh among the poor in a marginal area – namely, Galilee; he lived with the poor and emerged from among them to inaugurate a kingdom of love and justice. That is why many have trouble recognizing him. The God who became flesh in Jesus is the hidden God of whom the prophets speak to us. Jesus shows himself to be such precisely in the measure that he is present via those who are absent, anonymous people of history – those who are not the controllers of history, namely, the mighty, the socially acceptable, ‘the wise and the learned.’” (Matthew 11:25)
Oftentimes our Christmas cards, plays and movies inadequately represent the lowly nature of the birth of Christ and the obscurity of his parents and people. Jesus did not meet the expectations for the promised Messiah. He was not born into a powerful family nor did he come as a strong, conquering military hero. The humble and unassuming Savior showed us that the way to life was not through power or control but in giving ourselves. “He grew up before him like a tender shot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had not beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.” (Isaiah 53:2-3a)
“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)
The good news at Christmas is that none of us are out of God’s reach. His birth reverses the natural order of things. The weak become strong. The low down are lifted up. The last become first. The undeserving are offered unmerited favor.