“He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble.”
It’s a tale of rags to riches.
It’s a take of riches to rags, truth be told. Think about it. God, adored in heaven by countless angelic beings, coming to earth to be born in a barn.
It doesn’t end there.
He is born to a couple who are ordinary common folk – they certainly had no fame or fortune at the time they were visited by angels and called to fill supremely important roles.
Then the wee family-to-be are sent to Bethlehem at the beck and call of a hated Roman Emperor. They don’t have enough political or social clout to get out of a census, even such an inconvenient one as would cause them to be travelling close to the time their unconventional baby would be due.
Their baby shower was attended by nameless shepherds and a few sheep.
But oh, the monumental things that happen to ordinary people!
These words in Luke are penned by none other than Mary. She understood something highly unusual was happening to interrupt the regular pace of her so far regular life – somehow already understood that the workings of God aren’t hampered by governments or rulers or political climate or popularity or culture.
God was about to upset the apple cart…
He was completely ignoring the Roman Empire.
He skipped over the popular, the rich, the clever, to choose the humble.
If this doesn’t give us a peek into what God values, I don’t know what does.
Christmas is all about the humble ones. Mary. Joseph. Shepherds. Unnamed astrologers from the east.
They all had something in common.
They weren’t too important to stop and take note of a baby in a manger.
They got it.
Here was a Prince for the paupers! A man of the people! A ruler who had the simplest, most austere beginnings, but wasn’t afraid to claim heaven as His home and the throne of God as His rightful place.
This is a whole new way to rule.
Who would throw away His rightful place to serve a race of ungrateful and obstinate folks who don’t know a good thing when they get smacked upside the head with it?
My heart gets hard too. I get anxious when I read the news. I forget that God is in control and that I have access to unlimited resources because of what that humble Prince did for me.
Every Christmas I slow things down and try to allow the Good News to sink in deeper, to impact me in new ways.
I’m a slow learner.
But oh, friend. I think I see. I think the beautiful truth that the Prince of Peace came for the likes of me – ordinary, unimportant, unknown me – is slowly taking root.
A Prince for the Paupers.
And oh, the richness of that love!
Take hold of the truth of Christmas with me?
Father, it’s hard to imagine what Your Son gave up when He chose to come to earth as a baby all those Christmases ago. Thank You for loving us so well, and proving that You love and value the ordinary and unimportant and honour those whose hearts are humble enough to see You. Amen.