In my last post I began to explore why the angelic birth announcement of the Messiah came to shepherds. The first reason was that he came from their ranks, a shepherd for the people. The second reason is that he came to their ranks, more interested in the humble and hurting than in the prosperous and self-righteous. Shepherds are a model of the former. These are the kinds of people he came for. This post began as prose and morphed into loose poetry. No mention of shepherds is made, but the idea remains. He came for people like shepherds…and me.
A stable, suitable for animals.
Mud encrusted hoofs, matted mains, grass entangled wool.
Dim and dank.
Barnyard stink heavy in the air
A gritty maternity ward, makeshift and unadorned.
In our sterilized Christmas we inject cuteness where none was present.
This is a filthy backdrop.
Christened with blood,
Dampened with amniotic fluid.
Ringing with the echoes of labored cries and anxious panting,
Rank with sweat.
A trough for feeding becomes a cradle for divinity.
The setting of a holy birth.
The props of incarnation revealed.
This is the entry point for the son of God, far removed from satin sheets and room service.
He comes through a filthy portal into a filthy world to redeem a filthy people.
I take my place in the queue, dirty heart and dirty hands.
I bring my filth to the cradle.
I am appalled,
Revolted by my soiled self,
Ashamed of what lies in dark corners of my rebel heart.
He is not disturbed.
He was born into this.
This is how he came.
This is why he came.
To lead us out of filth and into cleansing.
“Today, in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)