This is part 2 of a series counting down to Christmas night.
I like small towns. They can be charming, friendly, and a blessing to those who live there, as I have. But as a rule, they have nothing of distinction, nothing that demonstrates any importance. The exception to the rule is when a small town person becomes a famous athlete, a war hero, or President. Then we all know the small town.
Jesus lived in a small town. After returning from Egypt, he and his parents moved back to Nazareth. In their day, the village was agriculturally based, had little economic value, and never exceeded 500 people. In fact, Nathanael asked, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nazareth followed the rule of small towns, that is until Jesus was revealed as the Messiah. Then it became the exception. He lived there until moving to Capernaum to launch his ministry, but until then, Nazareth was home.
I would have thought Jerusalem a better choice. It housed the Temple and the annual Feasts. It was home to the Sanhedrin, the Sadducees, and was the city of Prophets and Kings, but Jesus didn’t live there. Still, it makes sense that the future Messiah would live in Jerusalem, but he didn’t.
Christmas allows us to think about the Messiah and how our King came from such humble beginnings. He wasn’t from a world center for academic brilliance, or a place of global influence. Instead, he was raised in a place that the world would never had heard about.
I’m just wondering, is the world’s stage graced with your presence? Do nations rise and fall due to your existence? No? My son has a phrase I like, “Incredibly average.” That’s me, an incredibly average person from an incredibly average place.
We celebrate His birth because of those he came to help. He came for those living in darkness, and for people others would pay no attention to. He came for the sick, diseased, lame, blind, deaf, and leprous. He cared for the disenfranchised, discarded, unwanted, and unclean people. It didn’t matter.
Nazareth? There wasn’t anything special about it. Moses Lake, Washington? Wasn’t anything special about it either, it’s just my birthplace. But on a cold and brilliant starlit night, the Son of God was born into our world. He came for you, and for me, just average people, nothing special at all.