CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!
“Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them. (Mark 10:15-16)
In the grand providence of God’s plan for the world, it is not a coincidence that when the divine Son of God humbled Himself to take on human flesh for our salvation, He chose to come as a Child. He did not come in a fiery chariot, He did not come riding on bolts of lightning, He did not come in some other superhuman way. He did not arrive in this world to great acclaim and crowds of adoring worshippers. He was born with the witness only of His parents, some livestock and a few shepherds guarding their sheep. As a Child.
The Lord’s Nativity is a celebration of “child.” He came as a Child in order to call each of us to become a child in communion with Him. He calls us to the joy of His Kingdom. The joy that we experience and celebrate this day must never be the mere “joy” of some trinket wrapped in bright paper, nor the days off from work, nor the abundant spread that will cover our tables. No — the joy we experience and celebrate is the simple, innocent joy of a child when in the presence of celebration, the desire to sing, jump, and dance because we are happy. The eyes that light up when given an unexpected gift. What gift is more unexpected than the gift of salvation offered to a broken, fallen creation?
“Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” The Lord can place such a demand upon His creation because He Himself did it first. He left the kingdom of God and came in the innocence, the trust, the love, the joy and the hope of every child born into this world. The call to receive the kingdom as a child is fitting because it is as a Child that He offers it to us. It is only as a child that such a gift can be received.
We must remember that the world turns away from the Gift that is offered to us this day. Instead of the wonderment and joy of a child at the glory of the kingdom, we are tempted to be dazzled by the mere lights on a tree. Instead of thankfulness that salvation has come into the world, we are tempted to grouse because we “didn’t get what we wanted.” Instead of childlike innocence, we are too easily convinced to “grow up” into the cynicism of adulthood. We are tempted ultimately to reduce this day to the “fulfillment” — the answer — to the millions (billions?) of dollars spent on the advertising convincing us for the past months that we need this or that.
Brothers and sisters, my beloved flock, this day we receive the only Gift that matters. We receive it from a Child, so that we might become children in the manner to which God calls us — children of the Kingdom.
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!