One of our Christmas traditions in the Hurley household is to read the account of Jesus’ birth from Luke 2 each year prior to opening gifts. (This year was especially memorable as my almost-two year old grandson sat in my lap trying to turn pages as I read the story.) We like doing this to keep the reason for Christmas at the forefront.
Reflecting the entrance of Jesus into the world, I thought about how different the invasion of One was from other invasions the world had seen.
The invasion of One was quiet. Most invasions are pretty noisy, I think back to the aerial bombing that preceded Operation Desert Storm in 1991, there were tracers and anti-aircraft missiles flying everywhere that first night. The whole world knew about the impending invasion due to constant coverage by CNN. Jesus’ birth was quiet, attended only by a mother and father (and later in the night, a group of shepherds).
The invasion of One was simple and humble. Jesus was not born into rich surroundings or given expert neonatal care. He was born in a stable and laid in an animal feeding trough that was used as a crib. Worldly invasions often begin with highly-ranked and popular leaders pushing their agendas forward as they gather a well-spring of support.
The invasion of One utilized average people. Joseph and Mary were not important people in the world’s eyes. They were not political leaders, they were not well-known or famous in any way. However, they both had what God needed: they were righteous, faithful and obedient to his direction.
Jesus’ invasion of the world as a baby reiterates the fact that God’s ways are different than the world’s. When the world wants to get a message across, it uses the rich, the famous and the popular to draw the attention of others. God, on the other hand, uses normal, ordinary people to make an extraordinary difference. “When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” (Galatians 4: 4).
God knows what he is doing. He can use me to continue the invasion if I am willing and open.