As the Christmas story is retold to ears already familiar with the plot the words can pass without note. The baby, born to a young Mary, is lovingly cradled while Joseph somberly watches, considering the reality of the angel’s promise before him. Silent night, candlelight, the journey home in the cool of the night.
In the midst of the familiar lie unexpected gifts. Joys that we unwrap with special care, not immediately sensing a purpose or application of the gift, but knowing that somehow, someway life changes in the receipt of this present. So it is with the Savior born as an infant.
Faith is required to envision this helpless, vulnerable babe as the Savior of the world. Instead of arriving on angelic wings, a chariot pulled by flaming stallions trailed by legions of armor-clad angels, the hope of all humankind, the Prince of Peace arrives as a baby asleep in an animal trough to be chased by kings, to grow and help His parents to understand who He is; to lead all of God’s people back to their Father.
This growing faith is a gift. We must come to know and learn how to trust in God’s ways since they are often foreign to us. Through Jesus we come to see the Father’s attributes in a way that we can identify with in our feeble human state. Our faith grows and we grow with it. Unexpectedly.