December 25, 2022

Joy to the World!

Luke 2:1-7

She gave birth to her firstborn, a son.

—  Luke 2:7

Oh, the wonder of it! The Holy Spirit overshadows the virgin Mary so that a holy child is conceived in her womb. For nine months the child develops in watery darkness to the soundtrack of Mary’s heartbeat and muffled voice. At last the time comes. The child emerges, takes urgent breaths, and cries aloud amid faces beaming with hospitality and love. Welcome to the world!

Now let’s just take this in. Who doesn’t adore a sweet newborn? Bright eyes gazing around. Coos erupting after long months of silence. Arms and legs stretching out in new freedom.

Think too of the helplessness and vulnerability of the sweet child. Then imagine that this little one is our great God. The Word has no vocabulary, the Almighty has no strength, the Wise One has no knowledge. The Lord of all is completely dependent on the comforting arms and nourishing care of mother Mary.

It’s a wonder that God would become helpless in order to help us. But it’s not that merely an infant is helpless while we who are grown up have things in hand. In the big, wide world around us, we are pretty helpless too. And all our hope depends on the help of the helpless baby, whose birth we celebrate today.

Jesus, you come into the world, and everything is changed—because you em­braced helplessness to help the helpless. We praise you for your wonderful kindness. Amen.

About the author — Bob Arbogast

Bob Arbogast is the pastor of Celebration Fellowship church in Ionia, Michigan. In his spare time, he plays guitar in a West Michigan blues band. He and his wife Jan have been married forty years and have three adult daughters. Bob has been praying the psalms since 2002.

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