I recently have been thinking how we're all about success, winning, & being #1. We like to talk about being the best, championships, & top dogs. Its everywhere and in everything. We all are looking to live a perfect life, have a perfect family, looking to overcome the problems in our life.
I think this ironic, because as I read about Jesus, he was about failure. Failed Messiahs were crucified. Honorable people aren't born to parents out of wedlock. A king rides a majestic horse into a city; not a donkey. What kind of person hangs out with the traitors, losers, and prostitutes? Great men are born in regal palaces located in important cities, not tiny shacks in out-of-the-way little villages. Jesus' life is about failure, not success.
The Christmas story is a backwards story. The promised one has been born, yet the first people to greet him are shepherds who have tending to their sheep as they gave brith and probably have dirty and bloody hands. Even the Magi who came to find Jesus went to the wrong place, surely this important King would be born in a place of opulence and wealth; not to a common laborer under questionable circumstances. Its almost comical to think about Jesus' birth.
The trajectory of this story is one of a downward slope. Its one that rejects the mindset of success. The story of Jesus' birth is the first in many steps looking to challenge the very way we understand the world to be oriented. In the ways we understand the world to work, Jesus was a failure. If you have the mindset of success, Jesus' birth should be offensive to you.
If you actually think about it, you would look at Jesus and say, this is not the way it should happen. You should expect God to be the strongest and most powerful person in the room...not a helpless, illegitimate baby born to a couple of peasants.
How can we change the way we understand the world? How can we follow our lord and savior and become a pack of losers? Merry Christmas!