If this Child were born today–
The population of Jerusalem, at the time of Christ, was 40,000. Because of the tax decree and Passover, the population had swollen to a quarter of a million.The population of South Jordan is 60,000. (The town I live in)
Then, like us, they were caught up in the pressures of the day. They had no Kitchen Aid to help them prepare the Passover bread. Wives had the in-laws over, and felt the pressure of a mother-in-law’s gaze assessing her domestic skills. The husbands were pulling overtime as the town was over run with tourists. If they had had access to it–the out-of-towners would have been on Yelp figuring out where they could eat, complaining on social media and the lack of accommodations and over crowding. Undoubtedly, they would have left bad reviews on Travelocity.
They were focused on their comforts, jobs and other’s opinion of them, just as we are today. Tucked into our lives, we are comfortable and only worry about what others think of us Perhaps that is why the angels came to shepherds and not politicians..
Sheep herding used to be a noble profession, but after captivity in Egypt, the Jewish people adopted the view of those around them. The Egyptian’s idea was that shepherds were lowly, dirty and without influence. It was a lowly position like how we may view a Hell’s Angel biker. These shepherds were uneducated, mere hired hands watching sheep which were not even theirs. They were so lowly that they were not permitted to attend temple services—they literally were not able to go to church. Their profession was viewed as low as a dung sweeper or a tax collector!
So, when a baby was born in a meager manger, just a feeding trough for animals, the rulers of the land didn’t come. Sheperds, the low of the low, fell on bended knee, worshipping.
Wise men did come. After years of searching, they watched for the signs– they looked. They asked, “Have you heard of the Christ Child? Have you … have you? We have seen the signs!” They shared with all who would listen–even Herod. On bended knee, their silken robes pressed into the dirt, they offered gifts that a carpenter’s family would never be able to possess.
When the time came to flee into Egypt, how did they fund their travel? Perhaps through the wise men’s gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, the very temporal needs of daily life and relocation were answered.
They couldn’t offer the little family protection from those that would kill for political power or governmental control over men and wealth. Those forces overlooked the humble birth because of social class snobbery. You see they weren’t like ‘us’. The religious leaders overlooked the Christ; because He didn’t preach of war craft to over throw oppressors. He preached of peace, of the human heart, of forgiveness and of forsaking worldly wealth and power. All to be given when needed to serve God. He told them to leave behind their daily concerns for heavenly ones. The answers given were not popular–the media channels in Jerusalem didn’t put Christ on the front cover as Man of the Year. He wasn’t flashy, his followers didn’t even hold down jobs. The Jewish people missed the Messiah because they wanted a leader who would take away ALL their problems which suppressed them. They did not want a leader who said that by faith you will walk through your challenges and promised the way would not be easy. But it would be worth it.
They wanted a quick fix, soooo much like us today. Do we over look Christ’s message because it isn’t the answer we want? We see life tidy, in plot lines and look to gurus and Google for answers. Our society twists facts to fit the answer it wants, while ignoring God’s law and mocking faith as ignorance.
Why not use some kind of mass communication to brand the message and take control of the story line; get ahead of the opposition party! Wouldn’t that have worked better? ‘Like’ today’s post on Facebook or Instagram! Oh wait, that could turn ugly fast as people slandered Mary and let King Herod know the exact location of the Christ child.
God doesn’t work in mass announcements. He works quietly to the heart of each of us. He works with the lowest of the low. He works with us in our lowest times. When we are hurt, afraid, rejected; is that not when we hear the Angels sing the loudest? We want gifts that sweep aside our worldly concerns. Yet he builds us stronger through refining us and lifts our load with us. Is that not when we look up and see the signs of Christ’s light illuminating our path through the darkness of doubt? Do we await the dawn of redeeming Grace?
When we stand outside the false warmth of other’s good opinions, we can behold God’s Son touching our hearts.
Would we behold God’s Son? Would we hear the Angels sing of Peace,Comfort, Joy, Compassion, Redemption?
God calls to any, and all, who will believe. He asks us to testify one on one–will you? Will you? When we are busy with life’s pressures will we hear the Angel’s call? We are no better than a shepherd in Christ’s time. We parents have been asked to guard that which isn’t even ours. We are merely hirelings asked to spread the good news.
The lowest of the low and the wisest of the wise sought out the Holy infant. Will we be among them? Would we praise with Grateful hearts? It is my testimony that the Gift of the Savior is enough for our darkest day, our heaviest burden, He is the light. He welcomes all–even you and I.