What do we say?
We say, “Who me? I am not ready! I have nothing to wear/bring/show!”
Jesus came as a newborn baby…the most vulnerable among us…small, humble.
He is saying to us, “Come as you are, don’t fuss, I just want your presence, just come and see me without expectation or presentation.”
This is our introduction to our Savior. We want to be more for him, we want to bring gifts for Him and because we don’t feel prepared or worthy, we don’t show up. But He keeps inviting us. Again and again throughout his life and death and resurrection, he invites us.
The manger is the beginning, the first time we see Him, the first time we know that this is a different kind of king, that we can show up empty handed because He’s after our hearts. We can show up with our hearts on display…messy, confused, sorry, hurting, joyful…all of us, He will take all of us. That’s our gift to Him…all of us. Our hearts.
We can stand before the manger broken and naked and needy. He has come for us.
And later, we can stand at the foot of the cross, broken and naked and needy as He dies for us.
He loves us that much.
No amount of not ready is going to keep Him from pursuing us. No amount of messiness or sinfulness or I’m all filled up on material junk and totally distracted -ness is going to keep Him from loving us.
He’s coming here. To live among us. He will choose to sit with the sinners. He will choose to know the people that the world condemns. He will dine with the drinkers and He will forgive the adulterers and He will surprise us. He will challenge what we think we know and He will show us that we only can be BIG when we dare to get SMALL. He will show us that we can only be STRONG when we are brave enough to ADMIT WEAKNESS. He will ask us to get low…He will get low. He will TURN THIS WHOLE THING UPSIDE DOWN.
He came to hang out here with us. On our turf. A King coming down from heaven to live among us here in this messed up place. He came straight from His father’s heart…pure and peaceful and perfect.
So maybe this year we go. Maybe this year we bring our weary souls to the manger. Maybe we show up with our open, broken, messy hearts…ready to trust, ready to believe. He shows up too. He loves us enough to accept us as we are but the good news is that He loves us too much to leave us that way.
I love this song by Dave Matthews. In it he sings about Jesus, “So I’m told, so the story goes, The people he knew were less than golden hearted. Gamblers and robbers, drinkers and jokers, all soul searchers like you and me.” Love that. Just like you and me.
This Christmas story isn’t for other people. It’s for you. It’s for me. It’s for all of us.