The Christmas Sunday Tune-up ~ Defend and Protect the Manger



This is my 63rd year celebrating Christmas. And the very first Christmas I am feeling so strongly akin to Joseph, I feel as though I know what it was like to be in his skin. I was drawn to his perspective on the Nativity via Regis Martin’s The Coming of Christmas, in which he describes circumstances far from ideal, in fact a place of “grit”, corresponding to the “dark” and “gloom” and “long journey” experienced by the magi on their way to the same refreshing light. Could God have possibly made his entrance from a lowlier space? But then “Only God” as Regis concludes, “could tell such a story.”

Reading the story in this light in these current tragic times of Christian persecution, and Baby Jesus abductions… (Yes, I’m afraid to say, you read that right.), I feel myself being compelled to “step up” in ways I’ve never considered before. I understand God’s intention of entering our world in such inconspicuous and lowly fashion, but when I think of the “future value of the present sum” of the Babe, whilst standing in the present darkness…I want to protect Him. WE need to protect Him!

Joseph was the ideal man, who became the ideal father, who became the ideal husband exactly where and when he was needed most. Surely you must see, watching the modern world turn; Herod’s unquenched hatred incarnate, embodied anew, more powerful than ever…seeking. It was in this darkest night and from this gritty place that Joseph became, above all things, protector. As Herod lives again, I feel Joseph alive in me…empowering me with a fatherly love I’ve never known before.

The Manger has never been more exposed, more vulnerable, or more of a target than it is this day my friend. Every right and every wrong, every gain and every loss, every great love won and lost, every empire built and ruined, and wealth beyond all wealth imagined, are but a speck beside the gift He brings. He knew then, they would sleep in the garden of His darkest hour…and still He came. Like He knew the storm upon us now…

I am here. I am awake my King…

Fate whispers to the warrior, “You cannot withstand the storm” and the warrior whispers back, “I am the storm.”


Chip Murray: Wide Awake

About Chip Murray

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