By Walt Walton
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” – I Corinthians 1:26-31
This passage reminds me of John the Baptist. During the time he lived a lot of people probably thought he was a fool. He had strange fashion and an even stranger diet. He also preached a strange message: that he was preparing a way for Jesus. Seems like God was doing what the above passage says: choosing unconventional means to bring about great ends.
Every Christmas we are reminded of this same method. Only at Christmas, the means and the end are one in the same.
We witness a newborn baby, certainly not a noble birth. This baby was named Jesus, forever humbling himself in taking on human form, living a human life, and practicing obedience to the very point of death—an end in itself . . . a new beginning, too.
Yes, this God of paradox, of the unexpected, was on full display in the person and work of Jesus:
Jesus grew up in a rundown town called Nazareth, a place where nothing good comes from, yet it becomes the place everything depends on.
Jesus grows and launches his ministry—one that is tailed by naysayers, by a lack of resources, and by temptation and doubt.
Jesus claims to be God, yet he doesn’t demand people bow and serve him—he kneels before them and washes their feet, heals their wounds . . . he loves and serves them.
Christmas brings the opportunity to look upon the wisdom of God. It is not a worldly wisdom. Rather, it is unexpectedly beautiful and full and rich and, yes, strange. And it is good because it is God’s choice, his plan, to reconcile the world—and us—to him.
Thank God for unexpected blessings, especially the greatest blessing of all: Jesus.