He showed up. The question is not “did He?”, but “why did He?”. Only a lunatic, or someone with an axe to vicariously grind says that He was never here. It’s on the books of history and in the ears of the world. It’s incontrovertible and inconceivable at the same time.
He showed up because some nights are darker than usual. Some nights require a unique kind of star. He showed up because shepherds get bored in the fields and they, like the rest of us, are in need. He showed up because the wise, the thinkers, the upper echelon of mental capability also get bored. They don’t call it boredom, they call it life, but without the Source of life, life just isn’t what it used to be; so He showed up for them.
He showed up because not all mothers are married, not all babies have a father, and not all fathers know what to do. He showed up to give stables a good name. He showed up to expose what a racket the overnight lodging industry is, and how there’s is always another way. He showed up to give us hope that a husband and wife can get a lot done in a mini-vacation, something like heal their relationship and usher the Messiah into the world – not bad for a day trip.
He showed up because kings are insufferably arrogant and, ironically, at the same time dreadfully insecure. He gives all kings peace of mind because the buck doesn’t really stop with them, it stops with Him. He showed up because small towns have gotten a bad rap and they needed a Hero to put them on the map.
He showed up because He always keeps His word.
He showed up because first time winners and second chance losers were on the brink of believing what the world had told them about themselves. He showed up because He had a different message from a different world about a different life that could, and would, make all the difference in their lives. He showed up because midnight brawlers and up-and-at-em suits had their suspicions that something better was on the horizon – and by horizon we mean the line where Heaven and Earth meet, and by better we mean Him.
He showed up because the world wasn’t over yet, and wasn’t going to be for quite some time. He showed up because age is a mystery and one that we won’t solve. In fact, not only did He not solve it but He gave us a greater mystery: the age to come. He showed up, it seems, to do a lot of just that, answering the questions of our world with other questions…questions of another world. He showed up to tell us bizarre things like hate is murder and lust is sex and forgiveness is non-negotiable.
He showed up because the time was right – just right.
He showed up, if I may, because 20 centuries after He showed up there would be a misguided, smart-mouthed, disrespectful, rebellious, carnal young man who was at the end of every rope he knew how to dangle from. He showed up because that young man needed advent at least as much as every Roman, Jew, Greek, Barbarian, Scythian, and Asian put together. That young man was a Gentile’s Gentile, engaging everything that was wrong about mankind. He showed up for me. And no matter your story, He showed up for you.
He showed up because their was a profound lack of love in the world that was highlighted by a gross excess of hate. He showed up because no one else would do. He showed up not only because there was a cross to be filled but, hark, because there was a grave to be emptied.
He showed up because God said, “now”, the angels said, “peace”, and then the world breathed a collective sigh of relief. I often wonder what it felt like in places other than Bethlehem on that night. What did it feel like in China when the Prince of Peace was born? What did it feel like in France when Wonderful Counselor was laid in the manger? What was the mood like in Brazil when Mighty God cried for His first meal? Did they know? Could they have known? Regardless, He showed up.
The one who showed up? Jesus. I wonder, have you seen Him?