One of my favorite parts of Christmas is setting up our nativity scene. It was given to us as a gift 23 years ago, days before our first children were born. A year later, I showed my almost one-year old twins how to carefully lay baby Jesus in the manger. Each of the other figures, Joseph, Mary, the wisemen, animals and shepherds are also positioned in the stable, yet somehow, the coveted task is to have the privilege of placing baby Jesus. Over the years, this tradition has been passed on to the youngest sibling.
What is it about the baby Jesus? So meek, so mild, so innocent. He came to this earth as an infant and was wrapped in swaddling clothes; not with the appearance of a powerful King wearing fine robes as so many had expected. Would we have been drawn to a dynamic King in the same way that we are drawn to an innocent baby? There is something about the simplicity of a child that creates peace, wonder, hope and awe.
Philippians 2:6-7 says, … who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Jesus came as a humble servant, incarnate, fully God and fully man. He had all the power to come riding in on chariot, robed in splendor; and yet he didn’t. He came, looking like you and me; experiencing the same joys, sorrows, and temptations as we do. Jesus simply came.
So, could it be that he is calling us to simply come to him? In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, come… and I will give you rest. John 6:37 says, …whoever comes to me I will never cast out. He isn’t asking for fanfare; and you certainly don’t have to come all put together. He is reaching out his hand offering us a relationship, just as we are, in our broken humanness. It is then out of that relationship that our praise and worship will flow.
When was the last time that you simply came to Jesus, sat in his presence with no agenda, and just relished in his unconditional love? Christmas can be a busy season; full of excitement, anxiety and stress. Try setting aside just a few minutes each day to be in God’s presence. Oh, what peace could we experience, knowing that regardless of all that is swirling through our lives, Jesus is our hope!
Women’s Ministry Director