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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Quote of the Day

"Weakness. It's a pretty big deal to Jesus. Even His birth was a carefully constructed teaching moment. He didn't step off a helicopter, waving at the movers and shakers. We've looked at so many manger-scene Christmas cards that we've built up an immunity to the point here: he came in appalling weakness - by way of a poor teenage girl with almost nothing going for her. Mary and Joseph couldn't even pay for the sacrificial lamb at their child's birth, as required by Levitical law. They had to choose the cheap alternative, offering two birds. Irony? The parents of the Sacrificial Lamb of the world couldn't offer an ordinary sacrificial lamb. The Prince checked in as a pauper and proceeded to grow up on ten acres of nothing called Nazareth. 
 We love the image of a serene, sweet manger scene, but let's face it. This was a feeding trough for livestock. It was the smelliest delivery room imaginable...We sing, 'The cattle are lowing' without thinking about how upside down that really is. Why poverty? Why a stable? Why blue-collar shepherds? 
 Because He's God, and God chooses weakness as the best setting to display His strength. Weakness creates the space that God fills with His strength. Do you think it all happened by chance - that God entered history in flesh at that moment, as planned before the foundation of time, without doing his research? Forgot to make reservations at the inn for His Son? Hardly. 
 An artist knows how to make something 'pop,' as they say on interior decorating shows on TV. You set something off by putting it in a setting where it can't be missed because it's framed to its best advantage. And God is the artist of all creation. On a field of pure weakness, poverty,  and obscurity, power and royalty pop. 
 He could've disembarked in one of the world's greatest cities. People would have said, 'Right time, right place. Look what fate can do.'
 He could've been born into a billionaire financial dynasty. People would have said, 'Look what money can do.'
 He could have come by way of a celebrity family. People would have said, 'Look what fame can do.'
 Instead, He stepped into poverty, weakness, and obscurity, and all we're left to say is, 'Look what God can do.'"
                                     - Kyle Idleman in The End of Me