So, I’m sitting at home last night with my girls. Annie, our six year old, is hanging out, and Jill comes up with a great idea. She convinces Annie to tell me the story of the Nativity. We huddle down on the floor, using one of our chairs as the stable. Annie carries over Mary, Joseph, the manger, baby Jesus, a couple of required sheep, an angel, and some very young, very peaceful looking shepherds, and the narrative begins. She walks me through the angel telling the shepherds some good news about a king being born. The sheep slowly and stubbornly are driven to the recliner/stable, and the shepherds “ooh” and “aah” over the baby just on cue. She tells me how excited Mary is to have a baby, and how Joseph is a good dad, and he’s a carpenter. But then, things turn. In one of those rare moments of actually being fully in the moment, I ask Annie why Jesus came to such a poor family. Why be born where animals eat, in a stinky barn? Why didn’t God send him to a castle with rich parents?
I watched those small, powerful gears turn in her mind. She was really thinking this one out. Finally, in a somewhat settled tone, she wondered out loud; “It was because Jesus is simple.” Partially, the words themselves hit me. Partially, it was her tone. Questioning, but yet sure. I love that about a kid’s faith. Jesus is simple. Not simple as in easy to understand, nor the simple that makes you question their abilities. No, she meant that Jesus is humble, not attached to power, fame, or glory. She nailed it. Jesus is simple. Oh so amazingly, beautifully simple.
If only I can be like that Jesus. To let go of my weak clutch on my hopes for fame, power, or glory. I want to be the one born to a king. I want to be the one that everyone adores. Jesus had that, and He let it go. He came, here, simply. Now, today, I have to let it go. It’s not mine to hold. It belongs to Him. He deserves it, He has earned it, He is worth coming to see. It is my turn to kneel next to the manger, under the recliner/stable, and be still. To know that there is a hope, an unbearably powerful wonder born in a simple child. The one who came for me. There, in that small, smelly barn, is the good news indeed.