Written By Mackenzie Winkel, USA
A couple of days ago, I went to the park in a T-shirt, shorts, and sandals. It was 80 degrees Fahrenheit (about 27 degrees Celsius) outside and felt absolutely nothing like Christmas. In most parts of the United States, it’s cold—maybe even snowing. But here down south, in Texas, it’s still warm enough to go swimming.
To get into the Christmas spirit, I decided to walk home and read the Christmas story in Luke 2. What started as a casual attempt to get into the Christmas spirit resulted in a mind-blowing realization of God’s humility, power, and sacrifice. Here’s what I realized: Instead of opting to come into this world in a display of power to gain our trust right away, Jesus gained our trust by humbly entering into this world—as a baby in a manger.
The Bible includes multiple accounts displaying the power of God. God destroyed the world in a flood—but saved Noah and his family—to punish humanity for their wickedness. God worked through Moses, one of his followers, to part the sea so that His people, the Israelites, could walk through. Jesus himself also displayed His might, later in His life, by raising the dead.
So if God is capable of these amazing acts of power and might, why did He send His son, Jesus, in the way Luke 2:7 described: “(Mary) wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them”? After all, Jesus is God himself—the creator and the protector. Jesus is the one who would, just 33 years later, die on the cross and save all of humanity from our destiny of hell. He is the all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present God. So why would God send His son in such a small way?
Think about this: If Jesus came on a cloud of fire with angels surrounding Him and thunder filling the air, people would have immediately followed Him. But most of these people would likely have followed Him out of fear or compulsion—not because they chose to. Instead, Jesus chose to lead by example. He gained our trust through the way He spoke, lived, and loved.
God desires a personal relationship with us, as a loving father and not as a dictator. He wants us to follow Him because He is good, not because He’s an evil tyrant who will destroy us the moment we sin. That’s not at all who God is. He is good, He is kind, and He is loving.
I used to see God as being distant. I used to see Him as a lion that would devour me the moment I sin. But now I see that God wants me to have a relationship with Him because He loves me and created me to love Him back. Christmas used to be about presents, but now it’s a time where I get to thank God for sacrificing His son in order to have a relationship with me.