The first Christmas was not a magical holiday homecoming story full of family turkey dinners, carol singing and football games. Rather, the first Christmas is a refugee story. It tells of a young, poor, homeless couple who fearfully flee their country and become residents in a foreign land in order to save their child’s life.
This story is also a story of hope.
It is in the midst of this violent and fearful event when God shows up in the flesh: not as a king who has worldly power, and not as one who is distant and does not understand the plight of the marginalized. Rather, God shows up as one of the marginalized. God shows up in the flesh in a dirty stable, as a vulnerable baby, to a terrified young homeless couple on the margins of society.
It is this God in the flesh–this Immanuel, “God with us”–who will come to bring good news to the poor, give release to the captives, bring sight to the blind and let the oppressed go free.
This message is adapted from “A God who shows up” written by Emily Heitzman that first appeared in the December 2014 issue of Café.