Christmas is big. Like, Texas big. After over a decade in retail, I’ll sometimes catch myself with a jaded outlook after enduring countless cheesy Christmas songs and people whose attitude is less than cheerful. Christmas time can be tough for a lot of us. The whole hustle and bustle of shopping is only the start of it. Tensions can arise due to financial, relational, and time issues that only seem to be magnified by a season known for its cheer. When everything around us is telling us to be happy, it can highlight the parts of us that aren’t.
We literally buy into the go big or go home mentality we’ve adopted as a culture. We know it’s not about the number of gifts but that doesn’t stop us from maxing out our Visas. If I had the money, I’d probably go pretty big for my loved ones. I bet it would feel pretty sweet to give someone a car. If I had the money, my giving would probably be big and loud. From the very first Christmas, though, God had other ideas.
I’m not sure exactly what plan I’d come up with if I were tasked with breaking the power of sin over us. But I bet it’d be big. My plan would probably look like something more at home in an action movie. Whatever it was, I doubt in a million years I would’ve come up with the idea of using a baby. Take a good look at the next baby you see. They’re not powerful. A baby doesn’t seem like the best choice to win any fight, let alone against the wickedness of all mankind. Instead of arriving guns blazing, God began His plan quietly.
Jesus came for all of us, the irretrievably lost, to bring reconciliation. The story is the most epic tale of all time and it started with a baby. Often the most important things look like something small at first. We are the brokenhearted. We’ve torn ourselves apart with our own sinful choices. God didn’t send us the help we needed with the biggest, flashiest entrance. He didn’t have to have a loud announcement of His coming. So many times during our stretches of deep heartache, we cry out and wonder where God is. His reply is often quiet, small. You don’t need to be loud when you’re close. Christmas is the beautiful story of God’s plan, not kicked off with explosions or fanfare, but instead tender and mild. Better than I would’ve come up with.