A familiar story.
Very familiar. Too familiar?
When we think about the Nativity story, about the birth of Jesus, we often play music in our heads to the tune of Silent Night, Holy Night. Where all is calm, and all is bright. Or perhaps for you the song is Away in a Manger where Jesus is not crying, but peaceful and warm and everything is well with the earth. And there are angels, shepherds and wise men, and animals, and they’re happy, smiling and well-behaved.
We used to do a Live Nativity at our church, and we had all the parts you can see in the photo above. We had the sheep that escaped, trotting across our parking lot, spraying pellets to waylay those trying to catch him, like a 007 supercar. We had the kids in angel, shepherd and wise men costumes, usually taking shifts because it was cold. It was always a lot of fun.
But was it anything like that? First of all, myth-busters, you can X out the wise men. They came later on. As we continue our study of the Gospel of Luke, arguably the most famous Nativity account (Luke 2:1-20), we find he doesn’t even record the visit of the Magi. We do read about it in Matthew 2:1-12, where Matthew describes the place the Magi met Jesus, not a stable or cave, but a house, probably a temporary place Joseph and Mary stayed for a short while right after the birth.
We think we are familiar with the Nativity Story, but as with so much in life, familiarity can actually led to distance. This Sunday at Faith Church, for the 4th Week of Advent, we’ll tell the story of the Nativity, but it might sound very different. In fact, it really is the kind of story that could put your life in danger.
What we’ll hear is not only Luke’s courageous story, but we’ll also learn about the amazing upside-down nature of Kingdom of God. (“Are you not talking about the birth of Jesus, then?”) We sure are talking about the birth of Jesus! That cute little baby in the manger. Yup, it was a story, the telling of which could get you killed. Take a look for yourself at Luke 2:1-20 and see what you think. Don’t see anything out of the ordinary in those verses? Nothing that could get you killed? Join us Sunday at Faith Church, 9:30am…at your own risk!