When we think of the first Christmas, often we have a certain image in our minds.
The nativity scenes in our homes and churches have the figures neatly arranged around a quiet child wrapped in a clean blanket placed in a quaint manager in a Pinterest-worthy stable.
But if we allow ourselves to look past the sterilized sheen of those ceramic or plastic nativity sets, we know that wasn’t really the case.
Think of all the things that are “wrong” with the biblical Christmas story.
- An unwed teenage mother who could have been stoned to death
- A horribly timed census requiring potentially dangerous travel late in the pregnancy
- No available rooms to house the poor couple
- The baby delivered in a barn fit for animals
- Swaddled his first night in dirty rags
- The first people to worship the baby were lowly shepherds
- Within the first couple of years of the baby’s life, his family had to flee the country because someone wanted to kill him
Those things don’t really translate in our bright, shiny nativity scene, but that is the reality of the first Christmas.
Nothing seemed right, but we know, from God’s perspective, everything was perfect.
Think of your story. Look at your life. Does it all seem bright, shiny, easy or … right?
Chances are there are circumstances that you wish were different this Christmas season. You probably have at least a couple changes you want to make to your circumstances.
Don’t you think Mary and Joseph would have changed some of the situation surrounding Jesus’ birth if they could?
That first Christmas story wasn’t “right,” but it was perfect. From a human perspective, things seemed all wrong.
But the way God saw it, this was the perfect way for His perfect Son to enter this not-so-perfect world.
Why should your story be in different? Would you rather your circumstances seem right to your eyes or be perfect in God’s?
Do you want others to look at your life and comment about how you have it all together? Or would you rather others look at your life and wonder how God could do something so amazing in such difficult situations?
Life may not seem right this Christmas. It didn’t that first Christmas.
But it doesn’t mean that God can’t use it for His glory and your good in the perfect story He is crafting within your life.