Updated: Jan 6
By Mark Walz
You could make the argument that the announcement of the birth of Jesus in the Luke account is a bit short and understated. And there are probably reasons. Luke wasn’t there, of course, but is recording eye-witness accounts of what happened. You can only give so much description if you were not there. But it can be too that God had chosen not to do more than He did (though He did send angels). He kept it relatively low-key. There is no royal court. There is no national broadcast. He isn’t received by government officials. No one sends out a gender reveal instagram post. He is born in a back alley country, in a land governed by outsiders, descended from a people largely persecuted and belittled, too poor to afford a retinue, too late to find a bed, too little to do anything about it. The greatest miracle of all time, and there is very little written.
Now the Almighty and Creator of the Universe, God could have made things different. With the glory of the Infinite, He could have written it across the heavens. With the limitless power of Creation He could have opened up the skies to the host of heaven, and stilled the Sun so that all the earth would see His birth. But he didn’t do any of that. Instead, He let the weight of the moment, the vast importance of the event, be captured by a few barn animals and dusty shepherds. He did let in a little bit of light with a few angels. But largely, this is all that was done.
But why? Why the smallness of the surrounding scene to the greatest miracle the universe had ever seen? Why not a larger than life announcement to the moment God came into the world as a human being? Certainly any human king would have done more if at their disposal. There may be many reasons, but it does seem to be God’s style. Rather than over awe us with His power, at times He remains hidden, preferring to be found by those who earnestly seek Him.
However, when those who seek Him find Him there is great weight and great importance. To those who know, the joy is beyond compare. Maybe the smallness of the event has more to say about the blindness of men and women than the greatness of God. That is the conviction I receive anyway. When it comes to the importance and weight of the birth of Jesus Christ, my understanding and appreciation for it and Him has a great deal to do with it. I pray that this season I not miss it like so many others did long ago. I pray that I not miss the weight of it all like so many other times in my life. And I pray the same for you.