In the beginning, God revealed himself to the world. He made all creation in its beauty and wonder – and we did not see him. He crafted man in his image; creative, powerful and capable of great love – and we did not identify with him. He chose an unknown slave nation for himself, to bless all nations – but they turned away from him, again and again. He sent prophets to speak on his behalf – and we did not listen to them.
God took the ultimate step to fully reveal to us who he was. The great “I am” became fully human – fragile, vulnerable, born into poverty, a labourer’s son, an obscure nobody in an oppressed people group. Narrowly escaping death as an infant, forced to flee as a refugee. He made himself like us, so we could truly understand him.
Jesus completely revealed God to us. A God who is willing to walk in our shoes. A God who always chooses to love the unlovely, to honour the dishonoured, to place value on the undervalued. A God who doesn’t choose the fastest route to the top, who doesn’t take advantage of power and position to oppress others. A God who antagonizes the proud and religious, but gently raises up the weak, the lonely, the hurting. A God who has no place to lay his head, but offers all he has to the very ones who reject him. A God who would give everything, even his own life, to be fully known by us – even risking being misunderstood in the process.
Christmas isn’t about trees, or trimming, or food, or even family. It’s not about presents – it’s about power and position – with a twist. Christmas is the ultimate revelation of God’s way – choosing to shun the conventional power play and violence towards others, choosing to go lower to lift others higher. Christmas should confront all our notions of success, relationship and vocation. If God’s own Son chose not to use his position and power to his advantage, but made himself nothing, taking on the very nature of a servant, how then should we follow him this Christmas?