• on January 31, 2017

Luke 2:1-7 An Underwhelming Welcome

by Daniel Burton
by Daniel Burton

It came time for Mary to have her child.  You would expect that the Savior of the world would enter with fanfare.  Or at least there would be a proclamation of the coming Savior.  After all, this was the Savior of the world, the one the prophets foretold and who would save humanity.  He would deserve the type of greetings where people would know the Savior had finally arrived.  This was a moment where God was becoming flesh and coming to save His people. Yet, His coming was vastly different from what you would expect.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
– Luke 2:1-7, NIV


The greeting deserved was not the greeting received.  During that time, Caesar Augustus had issued a decree for a census and everyone had to return to their birth hometown.  Thus, when Joseph and pregnant Mary arrived in Bethlehem the city was incredibly packed with the influx of people.  Where there should have been the glorious welcoming, it seems the world had no place for a Savior.  Yet, the Savior would not be coming in the sense of fanfare, but came as a servant in humility.

Pride and Fanfares

For whatever reason, we all seem to have a penchant and a joy of titles.  We want the world to know of our achievements.  With all of our earned degrees, the world can see our achievements on full display.  This is not to say that the achievements are bad, but the pursuit of title and fame can lead to an unhealthy feeding of the ego and an inflation of the self. Having seen people become indignant over a simple mistake of someone not using their proper title, they response with disgust that someone dare refer to them incorrectly. Pride flows out of their heart as anger.

LukeJesus came as a child in the flesh when he could have very well come in spiritual and militant victory.  He chose instead to come in the form of man, in a lowly state.  He did not drop titles.  He did not come in the fullness he was rightfully due.  There was no expectation that the world would even know Him.  As we seek to represent Christ to the world, our hearts must shed themselves of their desire for fame and fanfares, of titles and glory. Representing Christ involves our full and complete surrender and emptying of ourselves.  Our lives do not seek to point to ourselves but to point to the Savior who gave up His life for the sake of those He loved.

Making Time For Christ

The idea of making time for Christ is, frankly put, a misnomer.  It gives this idea that we need to somehow make room and clear space for Christ.  There is the idea we can relegate God to some areas and not to other, partitioning the time that we pursue God.  We make the distinction between time for Christ and time not for Christ.  This is the equivalent of putting the Savior in the manger.

LukeWhile our Savior did come in the form of a babe, born in a manger, He is still a King.  God craves our entire person, not parts. He desires for all our life, not just a little time. When we “make time for Christ” we do not find a specific place for Christ but push Him to where it is convenient to have Him.  Instead our time is made to be the time given fully to Christ.  There is no time in which God isn’t permitted to reign.  He is King over all moments in our life and Sovereign over our time and activities. Christ is to become our priority not our convenient.

It is humility that releases us from selfish pursuit and gives permission for Christ to be King over all areas of our life.  It is a radical transformation and reorganizing of our life.  When Christ invades and intercedes, our world is forever changed.  Much like we see in the shepherds who were tending to their fields in the next section of Luke.

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