Jesus’s love for the human and physical world He created brought Him to earth joyfully. Jesus’ coming revealed the hidden God. It was as if God tore the iron curtain of separation to connect with us. Jesus did this to share our burdens, to heal and forgive. How, then was Jesus born?
Luke narrates the story of Jesus’ birth through the eyes of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The angel Gabriel announced the good news to Mary; the world longed to hear ever since Adam committed sin and was separated from the life of God: “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus” (Luke 1:30-31). How could this be, Mary asked, as she was a virgin? Gabriel explained that this would not be a normal conception. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, so the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (verse 35).
Mary knew for sure her pregnancy would certainly be misunderstood and put her to shame, yet she humbly obeyed. “I am the Lord’s servant,” she declared. “May it be to me as you have said” (verse 38). Mary’s obedience became a blessing for humanity. By a miracle, the Son of God entered into history and space and took on humanity. If Jesus were merely human, there would have been no need for a supernatural conception.
The fact that Jesus was born in a manger and not in the king’s palace has a message for us all. God’s love and compassion reach all and the deprived in particular. There is sufficient grain to feed the hungry of the world, yet people are dying of hunger. Let us break oppressive barriers that silence the voice of the anonymous and poor seeking justice. Let us pray and act for the healing of our world. Are we willing like Mary to obey and bless others?