DAVID BROWN: The biggest birthday bash
Roundabout 2018 years ago, a poor couple from a faraway land welcomed their first child in the most humble of ways, as the boy was born in the manger of a barn, sharing hay with the animals. Yet, from that most inauspicious beginning came a life that, according to one first century official, turned the world upside down (or maybe it was right-side up).
That event was the culmination of God’s attempt to forge a relationship with His creation, the people He made in His image. Yet, at the time of His birth, an announcement in the Bethlehem Times might have looked something like this:
Joseph and Mary of Nazareth announce the birth of their son, Jesus, at 7:57 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 25, 0000, in the stable behind the Bethlehem Inn.
He weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces and was 17.5 inches in length at birth.
Nobody then would have thought to include the shepherds working in nearby fields who were witnesses to the birth after being tipped off by an angel. The Magi, or “wise men,” still hadn’t been called by King Herod to find out exactly where that star appeared. Joseph hadn’t yet been warned in a dream to flee Bethlehem because of Herod’s evil plan to kill every boy ages 2 and under.
They certainly wouldn’t have put in the birth announcement that God’s Holy Spirit had miraculously caused Mary to conceive.
It’s a wonder that more of us didn’t fail to make it to our adult years, since we grew up eating paint chips in asbestos-filled homes while playing in traffic, but Jesus had a tougher time than most. His honest and hard-working folks even left him in the temple for three days when He was only 12.
That pre-teen grew up to be a carpenter, which is what His dad did, before venturing into the ministry when he was only 30. Only three years later, his body may have been broken, but His words and actions are still meaningful today in the hearts of millions of people around the world.
It’s understandable that not everyone sees Jesus the same way because the Bible itself calls it a difficult thing to grasp. However, his long-awaited birth was foretold in Old Testament prophecy, fulfilled in the New Testament and will continue to be significant long after all the books have been read.
“God did not save us by somehow reaching down from the heavens in an objective way. The unapproachable God Himself became an approachable, contactable, knowable man. What a mysterious and yet wondrous fact,” is how BiblesforAmerica.org puts it. “God always has your back,” is what this writer says.
This Christmas, love your family and friends like never before. Plan on making 2019 the best year ever. And don’t forget to take a moment to say “happy birthday” to that King born in a manger.
David Brown is publisher of the Cherokee Scout. You can reach him by phone, 837-5122; fax, 837-5832; email, firstname.lastname@example.org; or message him on Twitter @daviddBstroh.