Christmas in July

This past week the news outlets were all a buzz with Royal baby news. Prince William and Duchess Kate were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the royal baby, and people all over the world watched in anticipation. I find it intriguing how people in America of all places were glued to their televisions waiting the word on the arrival of the newest heir to the throne of England. Prince George, the third in line to the throne of England was born in lavish luxury and will have the world handed to him on a sliver Plate. We can only hope he grows up to be a man of integrity, compassion and charity. Prince George’s arrival was big news in 2013. But what if there was bigger news than that. News so big that the world almost it?

Just over 2000 years ago, in a faraway place another royal birth occurred. Only, the people of the day weren’t really aware of the significance of the arrival of a different prince. How could a royal birth in dusty Palestine go virtually unnoticed? There were some who noticed and were amazed at the news surrounding the arrival of the King of the Jews, and some were jealous (Matt 2:2). Angels reported the royal arrival to some late shift shepherds. Shepherds flock to the place where the Prince of Peace lay (Luke 2:8-15). Mary and Joseph weren’t wealthy, weren’t People Magazine material, but together they welcomed the arrival of the Savior of the World. The little baby wrapped in cloths and lying in the manger was given the name Jesus, the one who saves us from our Sins (Matt 1:21). Immanuel, God with us (Mt 1:23) is a promise for all people. The One who left Heaven to become a helpless babe has come to begin God’s great campaign of renewal and hope, of restoration, reclamation and new creation.

It’s quite a contrast really. The new royal baby was cheered and celebrated globally. Congratulations offered and a nation swelled with pride. When Jesus was born, the throne in charge tried to vanquish the arrival of hope (Matthew 2). There doesn’t seem to be much applause or cheers. Prince George is already one of the wealthiest people on the planet. He has influence, connections, and will be given the best of the best. Jesus, was born poor and compared to baby George had little influence outside of Palestine, was hunted, hated and hailed. While this one born King of the Jews, and growing up on the run in Egypt, doesn’t seem like much at the start, his words, his influence, his life has changed the world. Men and women for centuries have been changed by this one born the Prince of Peace. Jesus’ closest followers, took His story of God’s inbreaking reign into the world all over the world and because they dared to share the Jesus story, Jesus’ influence has toppled empires, kingdoms, and inspired hope on a grander scale than any other life ever born or ever will be again. We are a part of that story!

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About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
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