Jesus, the Light of the World, came into pitch black status quo. He poured His glory into the wiggly skin of a newborn. The angels knew our gut defensive reaction to these kinds of events that are not in our bulging day timer, so they sang out “Don’t be afraid! Don’t shrink back! This is really Good news!”
The angels knew that the terms of freedom are utterly threatening before they set us free. That doesn’t begin to describe the ugly, bloody fallout that Jesus’ birth would bring in the months following that first Christmas. You see, thousands of other young mothers, who carried their babies for months and nursed them with care and tenderness, would soon replace their garments of happiness with sackcloth and ashes. A quiet newborn cooing would be drowned out by horses hooves and doors crashing open, screaming, wailing and Rachael weeping. All of their babies would die in order to protect the fragile ego of a king who was committed to his status quo.
Can you imagine? What extremes the Herods and religious leaders went to in order to defend life as they preferred! They spit, threw stones, argued, hurled religious platitudes and murdered...all in order to protect their predictable familiarity. God, have mercy! Who would do such a thing?
Me. I have. I have been ruthless in defending my status quo, my predictable familiarity, my favorite sin. You have too. Oh we may not have murdered thousands of toddlers to protect our kingdom, but we have defended our truth so that we don’t have to hear The Truth. We all have a little King Herod in us.
Maybe this Christmas, you could put your dukes down and believe, for the first time, that Jesus, the Light of the World, has come into your pitch black status quo to liberate you. When Jesus flings open the black out curtains of your stale preferences and stifling predictability, instead of flinching in anger and clamping your eyes shut to avoid the exposure, I pray you peak.
Jesus is standing there, in the threshold of your prison door. He’s holding the terms of freedom. As threatening as it may seem, I promise, it’s Good News.