Songwriters have made fortunes – well deserved, I might add – on the truth that Mary and Joseph were humble, obscure, run-of-the-mill, peasant-type first century Jews. They were not wealthy (c.f. Luke 2:24 with Lev. 12:8); not aristocratic, prominent, or remarkable in any outward or measurable way (by human standards). Songs like, Mary Did You Know?, Joseph’s Song, A Strange Way to Save the World and Breath of Heaven all remind us that Mary and Joseph were just as fragile and humble as the Baby they would care for.
But that’s Standard Operating Procedure for God. He has – and continues – to entrust the greatest things to the “least of these.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 reminds us that God put His “treasure” inside of us, jars of clay. Nothing fancy. Nothing super-strong or unbreakable. But plain, ordinary, fragile and certainly flawed.
Why would God do that?
At Christmas, we wrap presents with pretty paper and shiny bows … and no matter how beautiful the packaging, we know the real gift, what matters most, is what is on the inside.
Whether our wrapping is pretty and shiny or plain and wrinkled, what really matters is the Gift God put in us.
May we all take time this Christmas season to ponder God’s incredible gift of Jesus to us – not just 2018 years ago, but that still today, we, like Mary, carry inside of us the Holy One of God.