The next time you have a birthday for someone at work, put up pictures of that person when he or she was a baby. See how it goes over?
Why do we always portray Jesus as a little baby on Christmas? Is it simply because we're celebrating his birthday? We don't do this with Martin Luther King Jr. or any of the US Presidents? I don't imagine my wife as a baby when I celebrate her birthday. I don't even really do that for my kids and I knew them as babies. Yet that's exactly what we do with Jesus. Why?
I think it might be because there's something much more amazing about this unique baby. For everyone else on earth, being born is just what we do. We are conceived by a father and mother. We grow and eventually leave the womb to enter the world. With exception to Adam and Eve, the first humans, that's how God planned it. And while that is spectacular, it doesn't make us spectacular.
Jesus on the other hand, existed before time was created. He's God. And to enter the world, he was conceived in the womb of a virgin. That's already so miraculous and spectacular that millions around the globe refuse to believe it. But that's not even the part that's difficult to believe. What's really amazing is that an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving, all-present God would enter the reality of his creation in the form of a baby. That while he would not share in sin, he would share in humanity. That is amazing and I believe that is what we should celebrate at Christmas.
It's not a little baby born into poverty and unusual circumstances that gives us cause to celebrate. No, it's that the King of Kings would humble himself so much to come in the form of a baby to an unlikely couple, in unlikely circumstances. And that little baby Jesus, the God-Man, would do so much more even than that because of his great love for us. We should declare the amazing wonder that God would walk among us in the flesh.
So when you look at that little infant Jesus in your nativity set, don't forget that we are celebrating something so much more than a little baby's birthday when we truly celebrate Christmas. This year, let's honor the King of Kings.