No matter how modern our world,
the Christmas story is what we need
It seems to me that if Mary and Joseph arrived in a small town today, and there was no room at the inn, surely they could take an Uber to an AirBnb, maybe one of those cute ones made to look like a rustic farm setting.
And if the baby started coming, they could look online and find a doula who makes house calls, and they could Skype with a doctor from their phone. And of course they could order diapers and any other supplies they needed from Amazon, which I have no doubt could deliver to a remote refurbished stable at no extra charge.
Human progress - especially in the last few decades - is astonishing. If you had told me when I was a child that I would carry my phone in my pocket, that I would speak my desires out loud and a machine would order me food, clothing, almost anything I wanted, and it would be delivered to my door, I would never have believed you. It is miraculous, really, what we have achieved with our intelligence, skill, and strength.
But there are still things we can't do.
Human achievement is so amazing that sometimes we run the risk of believing that God is made in OUR image, instead of the other way around.
And so our Christmas story - simple and clear, ancient and profound - reminds us again that God does what we can never do. God saves us through a love that is stronger than death. God creates life, and becomes life, to show us that nothing will separate us from that love.
Even a modern Mary and Joseph, with every convenience at their fingertips, would find what their first century counterparts already knew - that the birth of this baby is a sign of what we NEED from God.
They could not find anything else, anywhere else, online or in person like what they found the night their baby was born. What we STILL find.
No matter how many things we can get delivered to us, done for us, created in our own image, we are STILL called to come to this place, this story, this baby, delivered in God’s time, on God’s schedule, for our salvation.
It’s Love. Born for us. Stronger than anything. Hope for the hopeless and light for a weary world.
We will never find a better way. And that's Good News.