The most wonderful season of the year has arrived. It’s Christmas time!
My job at Cross International has given me a new perspective on the first Christmas. Before I started visiting our ministry partners in developing countries, I had a very simple view of Christmas. I thought of Jesus’ birth as cute and cozy – as some of our Nativity scenes depict it – but I now realize that’s just not the way it happened.
Jesus arrived into humble, almost pitiful conditions. When Mary gave birth to the King of Kings, it was in the most unexpected way. He was born in a stable and his first crib was a feeding trough.
And remember who received the first angelic birth announcement? Shepherds. The lowest level of society, the poorest of the poor. God proves that His economy is the opposite of mankind’s — He chose to extend a privilege to people no one else would have considered worthy to be the first worshipers of the long-awaited Messiah.
Later, wise men from the East arrived bearing gifts for young Jesus, showing that kings will also bow down to worship Him!
Isn’t this amazing? God sent His Son for the poorest of the poor and for the highest levels of society. While a story about a baby born in a manger may seem odd in modern America, I think it makes complete sense to the poor in our world today. They understand what it means to live in humble conditions, even among animals, or improvise for a safe place for their children to sleep. The Word was made flesh, and literally dwelt among the people He came to save from their sinful ways.
If Jesus had been born in a palace, surrounded by the best doctors in Bethlehem his story wouldn’t be as profound. But in His sovereignty and wisdom, God knew how to show His great love to all people. Jesus came for shepherds, and He came for kings. He came for the little girl living in a mud and stick hut in Haiti, and He came for the man climbing the corporate ladder. He came for you, and He came for me.
Through His life, death, burial and resurrection, Jesus turned the world upside down. Oh, come let us adore this special King—the Savior of the world – Jesus!
Check out our Christmas catalog for ideas on how you can share the message of Jesus with poor families this year.