A baby changes everything. Whether a teenage girl who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, a couple anxious to start a new family, a woman who has been battling infertility only to discover she has finally conceived, or wide open hearts that learn their adoption request has been granted, I think we can all agree that a baby can profoundly change everything we think we know about life.

It’s Christmastime so naturally the story of Jesus’ birth is on my heart. It’s a beautiful story and one that over two thousand years later, we are still talking about and celebrating. But what if baby Jesus was born in today’s time? What would He be born into?

The same exact things he was born into thousands of years ago; times racked with unthinkable violence and horror, every evil injustice you can imagine, mixed with unhealthy doses of rebellion and sin. A time where everyone was a part of the problem. Everyone suffered in the problem but no one could fully solve the problem.

But mercy…

Graham Greene writes: “You cannot conceive, nor can I, of the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God.” Imagine what it must be like for God; watching the lives He created with His very hands and breath unfold so…off course…of His original and indescribably creative plan.

As an artist, if a painting of mine goes south, my first instinct is to quit and walk away in utter disgust. Only reluctantly will I come back to start the creative process over nonetheless disappointed and annoyed by the time and effort wasted. Lucky for us, I’m not God! Thank God, He is fixed on His purpose and perspective of us and has everlasting faith in our God-given potential for rebirth.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3: 22-23

God knew that generation after generation would cry out for the shalom of His kingdom. How could He, once and for all, affect a rebirth within each of us in an all-encompassing yet, non-confrontational way?

His primary objective was to overcome evil in the world and redeem His creation. What merciful strategy could He possibly come up with that would hold power above all power, yet soften the most hardened of hearts? What would cause the proud to lower their stubborn guards and the humble to raise their reserved voices? What would make us feel vulnerable, yet find us righteously covered at the same time? How in the world could God show a strong arm of discipline over everything He created yet, still be known as an adoring and loving father?

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

But grace…

In a world desperate for an honorable example of authority and power, God chose weakness. He chose to wrap Himself in a baby, not a divine being but a human being.

Emmanuel, God with us. Even as a totally dependent infant lying in a manger, God managed to turn all notions of power upside down. The birth of Jesus should always remind us of the radicalness of God’s love for us and the extent He is willing to go to, to save each of us from our own humanity.

A baby changed EVERYTHING! A tiny bundle of love and light so perfect in every way, including the way he was delivered; by purity and innocence. Jesus was the world’s very first Christmas gift. Not a gift that could ever be purchased, but one that would end up purchasing us.

With reverence, we focus on the resurrection of Jesus, but do we contemplate the meaning of His birth with the same devotion? Christmas marks the day so much was born. The baby was awake and within an instant, everything changed!

With Him our freedom was born. Our hope was delivered, our peace was released, our faith was formed, our grace was sent, our mercy was provided, and our restoration was created. His authority birthed our redemption because our adoption was always emminant. Our inheritance became a birthright to live under the highest and most beautiful name; Jesus. Love incarnate…and in His name, your every oppression shall cease. Everything good about this world was born the day Heaven came down.

But Jesus…

I heard something yesterday and it took me a minute to wrap my head and heart around it’s truth: The angels that proclaimed the birth of Jesus to the shepherds keeping watch in their fields are eternal beings. They are still alive…and they are the very same beings that are actively proclaiming YOUR rebirth at the foot of God’s throne, right now! I mean…come on! It’s just so stunning to even imagine, right?

So go ahead and own your imperfect record…but then accept God’s invitation to let it die. According to His word, every ounce of it will be used for His glory. It’s not only the gospel of salvation but it also points directly to God’s goodness in our every day lives. Cultivate peace within by living in awareness of that and of the non-refundable gift of His unwavering love and devotion.

Christmas; the most holy night where all of creation was holding it’s breath for Jesus’ first cry. When the silence of that Bethlehem night was broken by that precious sound, it meant more than just life; it meant life eternal was born. The instant Jesus took His first breath, He inhaled and then exhaled Love, freely offering a new genesis for each one of our lives.

But Love…

It epitomizes God. It captures the climate of His kingdom. But it doesn’t stop there, it also explains why we were created and how we are to live; as living and breathing revelations of His heart.

In the new year, what if we all made one resolution to not blend in with a critical and destructive world? What would happen if we lived fully in the knowing that our words and actions have the power to reflect the healing hope and redeeming promises of Jesus? His birth awakens the expectation of that certainty, also known as hope. It awakens the restoration of all things and that promise stands firmer than firm.

Jesus is proof that God is the most unselfishly genius, indulgently gracious and deliberately contemplative gift giver. All that God has done is worth celebrating! It’s a gift worth giving and one to wholeheartedly receive! Jesus: the gift worthy of rearranging everything in order to prepare Him room to fully enlighten us to the knowledge that He’s awake and was born to come alive within each of our hearts.

But God.

Merry Christmas to all! Wishing you so much love and peace in the beautiful New Genesis of 2020! May each and every day of it be inspired by the generous work of Christmas and with a singing heart, eager to fulfill every hope God has ever held. God bless us, everyone. ❤️

*Written with gratitude and in loving remembrance of the gift of those that have gone before us, and holding those that are waiting to see them again in my heart and prayers.