Nothing ordinary about it

Published 1:35 pm Thursday, December 24, 2015

It was an ordinary night.

Folks were visiting friends and families. Shepherds were watching their flocks. Innkeepers were taking care of guests. And yes, infants were being delivered.

And in a manger in Bethlehem lay one of those infants, who had entered this ordinary world in the ordinary way. But his life would be extraordinary, and the evidence began with the proclamation of angels.

Email newsletter signup

They brought tidings of great joy to a band of frightened shepherds, news of a Savior for all people. It was news of God’s promise of peace through this child in the manger.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased,” the angel choir sang to the cowering shepherds.

Peace. Joy. Love. Whether or not they are followers of Jesus — the man whose virgin mother and foster father watched over him when he was a baby in that manger in Bethlehem — most folks consider these ideals to be the central themes of Christmas.

For non-believers, it is a holiday filled with the fun and frivolity of Santa Claus and time with family and friends. And there’s much to be said for those holiday pursuits. Even believers enjoy them.

But for believers, the significance is much deeper: The Creator of the universe stepped into His creation as a helpless infant. It was an extraordinary thing to do for ordinary people who struggle to love and wind up with resentment, who grasp at joy and grab hold of dissatisfaction, who aim for peace and accept conflict.

On that ordinary night, the perfect and holy God who had spoken light into existence gave the world the true Light of His Son, who will ultimately dispel the darkness. On that ordinary night, God sent the Prince of Peace to offer amnesty to a rebellious world, recognizing the price that Son would have to pay to seal the deal.

It was an ordinary night, but there was nothing ordinary about it.

May you find peace, joy and love this Christmas.