The “Wow” of Christmas

Josh WannerDevotions

An angel once appeared to a young man named Joseph and spoke these words, concerning his wife-to-be named Mary, who was already pregnant:

Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

Matthew 1:20-22

The Gospel of Matthew records that “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).” (Matthew 1:23)

Have you ever pondered just how bizarre the Christmas story is? We all know of the humble circumstances into which the Lord Jesus was born regarding the manger and the shepherds. These things are strange enough. But who would have ever thought that the most significant event of all time, and God’s salvation plan itself, would hinge on a very young girl and her conception of a child out of wedlock.

Now, to be fair, this child was not conceived through an act of sin (quite the opposite, actually). However, could you find a more humble, meek, upside-down, and lowly way for the God who made the Grand Canyon, and the earth itself, and the billions of stars and galaxies that exist in our universe to himself enter into this world. I suppose he could have come as a fly, or an ant, or as a leaf on a tree. But he also could have come as a star, or as a superhero warrior, or as some completely new type of creature – after all, he is the ultimate creator!

But he did not. Our God chose to come to us through the young maiden Mary, as a boy child who began like you and me, as a simple few cells joined together to make a human person. Imagine Mary just for a moment changing the diapers of the God of the Universe. Now, if that isn’t bizarre, I don’t know what is!

This upside down way that our God works this is on great display during the Christmas season reveals many things about who He is and how much he loves us, and how we are to live in this world as well. I would like to highlight a few of them.

First, it puts on display just how much our God loves us. He could have destroyed this world, but he chose to save it, to redeem it, to love it. This boy child is named Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins!

Second, it shows how high of a value God puts on humanity itself. The fact that God himself was willing to send his Divine Son to earth as a human has everlasting implications for how much value humanity has in God’s sight. He was willing to BECOME LIKE US, in every way. Read Psalm 8 now for a poetic commentary on this.

Finally, it reminds us that the seemingly menial, mundane, and humble things of this life have value in God’s eyes as well. Not only does this mean that we should care for the poor, the weak, and the less fortunate, and welcome them with mercy and compassion, but it also means that our daily tasks, like chasing after impatient children, caring for dying or aging loved ones, and serving diligently in all our vocations at home, work, school, and in the community are actually good and God pleasing, as they are ways that we humble ourselves in service to others. God values the work of humanity, and the lowly, humble things in this life, they are holy tasks.

I pray that this Christmas, and always, you would ponder the babe of Bethleham, consider how he humbled himself and came into this world, God with us, Immanuel, so that you can continue to learn to live a life of humility as well, all by the grace and gift of God.


The Mighty One has done great things to me, and Holy is His name;
and His mercy is on those who fear Him; from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel in remembrance of His mercy,
as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever.