We celebrate the most special birthday ever: the one that started Christmas. Yes. It's well worth celebrating. Jesus of Nazareth was born in the town of Bethlehem. We know. It was an unusual birth, a humble one, in a manger, amongst animals. But not long afterwards, he received gifts worthy of royalty and deity: gold, frankincense and myrrh. His family tree emphasizes that he was a descendent of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And the new "King of the Jews" was also descended from revered King David. Yes. Jesus was that precisely matching jigsaw piece needed to resolve the puzzle of many prophecies' fulfilment...
But what does that mean to you and me? What's important here and now is what John explains in chapter one of his gospel. He says something startling: that the Creator of the world came to the planet he himself once made. But that the world didn't receive him. He came to his own people, but was ignored and rejected. He drew near to his Creation, becoming just like another one of his own creatures, like us, to fulfil a very special plan... Amazing! But that sensational Creator's visit was inconsequential and unbelievable for many. It came in a too humble format and was despised. No. Many people don't acknowledge him as God, or Creator, of King of their lives. Just another man.
However, those who show a willingness to believe him and gratefully receive him, respecting what he said he was, end up understanding and being reconciled to him. That's how it works. Those who respond to Jesus' humility with the humbleness of a child end up becoming his friends. Even better that that. Those who recognise him are given the right to be considered adopted and loved children of God. That's why every Christmas is a new call to accept Jesus. To receive him.
What is Christmas then? It's when God comes to the world, not to judge (though that's his prerogative) but to save. He comes to love those who, before the time of judgement, want to accept his love and help. To bring reconciliation to those who listen. He sides with the poor and humble with his humble birth, life and death for us 2000 years ago... That's why Christmas brings peace, joy, love, celebration, hope. How wonderful that first Christmas was! Don't you think so? A humble birth to be celebrated! One that's well worth celebrating! Happy birthday! Happy Christmas!