The Simplicity of Christmas

nativity

 

Each season my mind focuses on a different aspect of Christmas. Several weeks ago as I was preparing to teach a Sunday School lesson my mind centered on “simplicity”.  Would you believe the next Sunday our pastor focused on the same thought as we started the Advent season.

Jesus was born to simple, ordinary, country folks who were faithfully seeking to follow God. His father was a carpenter and his mother a young peasant maiden approximately fourteen years of age. He walked the hills of Judea as a homeless teacher with a group of ragtag, “chosen” disciples; teaching, healing,  and calling folks to believe that He was the Messiah, the Son of God.  He was loved by a few, but generally misunderstood, doubted, betrayed, mocked, deserted,  and finally condemned to die a horrific criminal’s death.

But, then the extra-ordinary happened. The Son of God arose and became the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Messiah, and Savior. He calls us, simple, ordinary folks, to believe and accept who He is; “The Way, the Truth and the Life”, and to “come” and follow Him.

There is such a tendency to make Christmas glitzy with lights, gifts, trees, glitter and food that we forget the real story of a humble birth in a lowly stable when God became man and dwelt among us so that we can know the Father and live eternally with him.

There is a poem I really like that expresses these thoughts so beautifully.

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village 
The child of a peasant woman 
He grew up in another obscure village 
Where he worked in a carpenter shop 
Until he was thirty when public opinion turned against him

He never wrote a book 
He never held an office 
He never went to college 
He never visited a big city 
He never travelled more than two hundred miles 
From the place where he was born 
He did none of the things 
Usually associated with greatness 
He had no credentials but himself 

He was only thirty three 

His friends ran away 
One of them denied him 
He was turned over to his enemies 
And went through the mockery of a trial 
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves 
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing 
The only property he had on earth 

When he was dead 
He was laid in a borrowed grave 
Through the pity of a friend 

Nineteen centuries have come and gone 
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race 
And the leader of mankind’s progress 
All the armies that have ever marched 
All the navies that have ever sailed 
All the parliaments that have ever sat 
All the kings that ever reigned put together 
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth 
As powerfully as that one solitary life 

Dr. James Allan Francis © 1926.

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