Simple. Isn’t that how He came? Isn’t that how he lived? Isn’t that what He wants? Simplicity.
An angel appeared to a simple virgin. There was nothing extraordinary about her. She was just a normal woman who found favor with God. She was engaged to be married to Joseph. When Caesar Augustus made a decree for everyone to go to their home town to register… Mary went with Joseph to Bethlehem. While she was there… the time came to give birth. There was no room at the inn (Luke 2:7). The only option was in a stable behind the inn. Jesus, the Son of God, the Savior of the world could have had the most dramatic, lights camera and action packed birth we could ever imagine… but no, the Savior of the Word, The Son of God chose to have a simple birth. He made that decision. He chose to make His grand appearance into this world… He chose to bring Heaven to Earth not in a majestic way but in a very simple, yet miraculous way by conception through a virgin and she gave birth in a stable and he was placed in a manger. A KING was born and was placed in a trough for animals.It’s just that simple. When did Christmas get so “westernized”… so commercialized? When did we start getting so crazy, so stressed so filled with anxiety over the cooking and the shopping and the parties that we lost sight of the simplicity of it all? Christmas is very extravagant… but not in the way of extravagance that we portray it. For most of us, we are so frazzled preparing for Christmas that we are too tired to even enjoy and take it all in on the day it finally comes.
Jesus chose for our family to have a simple Christmas this year. He took us 900 miles from home, put us in a tiny one bedroom apartment in an unfamiliar city. Our apartment in New York City is so small that we had to move a table from the kitchen area in order to even fit a Christmas tree in our apartment. Our tree is decorated with 2 boxes of ornaments from the Dollar Store and hand made ornaments from construction paper that I just so happened to pack and bring with us during this trip. It’s so simple and I love it!
Our children always get 3 gifts a piece for Christmas because we explain that Jesus got three gifts for His birthday and He wants us to have gifts as we celebrate his birth. 3 simple gifts under a simple tree meant simple shopping for me!
We wanted to enjoy a show on Broadway this year. My kids and I were excited to attend Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular but when we realized how much tickets were for a family of 5 (and one extra ticket because my mom is flying up to spend Christmas with us, YEAH!)… we couldn’t find it in our hearts to hit the purchase button on the computer when there are so many homeless people around us in this city.. and not to mention thousands of homes destroyed in this city due to Hurricane Sandy. I talked to my mom and kids and we decided that instead of spending so much money on the tickets to the show that we would use that money to buy toys for the kids whose homes were destroyed from the Hurricane, clothes for those families and blankets for the homeless.
I love that Jesus chose a simple birth. Christmas and it’s true meaning isn’t simple at all. It is absolutely miraculous… but when we make it into a dramatic, crazy fest of shopping, partying and stressing… it looses it’s meaning. I am thankful for a simple Christmas this year.
Luke 2:1-7: Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.