Unto Us A Child Is Born: Do Our Hearts Truly Sing “O Night Divine”?
It is all too easy to be jaded about Christmas. It seems the decorations, Christmas sales, and overt consumerism kicks into high gear earlier and earlier every year. All those who wouldn’t have given two thoughts to Jesus during the rest of the year dust off their plastic decorations of the Christmas Holy Trinity—Santa, Snowman, swaddling clothed baby Jesus.
Jesus’ birth has become common and unremarkable. Any excitement is merely a glimmer of its former glory. The reality of the birth has lost much of its potency, largely due to a culture which has co-opted every “Christmas” tradition to form a conglomeration we call the “Holiday Spirit.” This “spirit”, without doubt, goads us, not to forget Jesus, but to make Jesus another part of the seasonal yule-tide charm.
Despite the cluttered carriage of baby Jesus, the image of a wrapped-up Christ surrounded by animals, wise men, and angels in a dank barn or cave is common place.
What if Jesus had come today, born on our streets, rather than 2,000 years ago? Would we find it remarkable? Would we find it strange that this “King of Heaven” was born is such poverty, oddity, and “homelessness”? Would we get a better picture of his birth—or perhaps better yet, the humility of it all? Such are some of the challenging thoughts which came to my mind while watching this take on that “Night Divine.”
We have lost the wonder and humility of his birth.
The heart of this season ought to be a reminder of this truly crazy and “irrational” act—that such a supreme being wanted relationship with you and I so badly that he would intentionally pick being born in the gutter to relate to us. “O Holy Night” indeed.
“The most critical issue facing Christians is not abortion, pornography, the disintegration of the family, moral absolutes, MTV, drugs, racism, sexuality, or school prayer. The critical issue today is dullness. We have lost our astonishment. The Good News is no longer good news, it is okay news. Christianity is no longer life changing, it is life enhancing. Jesus doesn’t change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore, He changes them into ‘nice people.'” – Robert Capon
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