I was reading the Christmas story again today, and I started thinking of the nature surrounding all the events. (Remember, my undergraduate work is in the arts, so when I read the Bible, sometimes I can feel the scene.)
Have you ever wondered why God chose a virgin to birth Jesus? In seminary we had a lot of theories, most of them centering around a prophetic word in Isaiah, but outside theological reasons, have you ever just wanted to sit and ask God "Why?"
Why would you choose such a scandalous story?
Why wouldn't you just allow a righteous couple to raise your son?
Why would you allow a woman who didn't have any experience raising children, the duty of showing your Son the ropes of humanity?
Maybe the intention of the Virgin story, the manger scene, and the uncomfortableness of the event; was to show us how much God really cares. (I understand the prophetic part, and if that was the only reason, it would certainly be enough.)
But I can't quit thinking that this beautiful cosmic story could have been exclaimed through a royal family, but the reality of Jesus' birth was far from the comfortability found at the table of the kings.
The conversations Mary was having with family…far from comfortable.
The conversation Joseph was having at work…far from comfortable.
Walking to Bethlehem while fully pregnant…uncomfortable
Labor room in a barn..uncomfortable.
First nights sleeping in the Hay…uncomfortable.
People you don't even know coming to admire a baby they only knew through visions and dreams…uncomfortable.
Just put yourself into the reality of the story, and it takes away all the smells of pumpkin spiced latte's, yule tide logs in the fire, and Christmas sweaters. This event was the introduction to God on earth, and everything about it was well orchestrated before the beginning of time, all surrounding the inconvenience of following God.
If I were honest…I'm wrestling with Christmas this year.
Don't get me wrong. I'm still participating in all the traditional stuff, singing all he traditional songs, and engaging in the social part of Christmas. But, my soul is really grappling with the realness of God's plan. Are we too comfortable?
Maybe we've made the "reason for the season" a catch phrase that takes away from the reality of God's intention, and gives us a sense of comfortable God never intended.
Maybe we've created an event, when God's was to say, "Just look at the manger scene and see."
I get embarrassed at all the gifts under the tree, the plenty of food we have to eat, and the sense of comfortable. I'm having a hard time wrestling with this. Maybe because it's easy to be where I am, and it's all I know, but if I'm honest with myself, I want to live life more like God wanted me to live it.
Am I way off here, or do you think in order to understand more of God's story, we should live God's story a bit more real?