Christmas Under the Radar
December 19, 2014
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This is a distillation of what I shared in my
2012 Christmas Eve message
at Mayfair-Plymouth Church
On Christmas Eve you’ll see reports on TV or the internet giving updates, sometimes from radar readings, of where Santa is on his journey. What if Santa didn’t want to be tracked by radar? What if he said to Rudolph, “Take us down to an altitude of 100 feet; let’s fly under the radar”?
The very first Christmas happened largely under the radar. Except for a handful of people, the birth of Jesus was a non-event for the people who were alive at that time. We have record in Luke’s gospel that a few shepherds were privy to what had just happened. We read that they spread the good news of Jesus’ birth, but we have no record of the folks of Bethlehem lining up at the stable to get a look.
The only other account of Jesus’ birth of which we have record is the visit, at a later date, of some magi from Babylon or Persia or some other place far, far east. The priests and scholars of Jerusalem identified the place of Christ’s birth as Bethlehem for the wisemen, but we have no record of any of them going along with the wisemen to check it out.
That first Christmas, when God invaded our world in the flesh as a baby, could be described as a covert operation instead of an overt operation. Hardly anyone took notice! This shouldn’t surprise us. God often moves in mighty ways “under the radar” of day-to-day living and casual observation. God still works in such low-key ways, under the radar. There are all sorts of God events in our daily lives that we can easily overlook. Can we spot them even though they’re “under the radar” of that which we normally observe? Do we hear God’s call for us to contribute our seemingly-small gifts of who we are and what we can do in the lives of others? The fact that the first Christmas was a covert operation should be a reminder that God often works in seemingly small ways that have big results.
“Who despises the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:10)