When Everything Flips

The King of Heaven becomes a baby in a barn, and everything we thought glory looked like flips. Maybe it's not distant and untouchable and pompous after all. Maybe it's humble and maybe it's pure and maybe it's nearer than we ever realized.

It wasn't a Queen that birthed this royalty like we might have logically expected. No, a virgin, a teenager, younger than I am now. I can't imagine carrying a life at 23, can much less imagine carrying the Son of God, the Savior of the world, at much younger, with no husband and no roadmap for a life like that. He flipped that too, as He does. He raises the low, blesses the meek, writes stories that stun in their layered simplicity.

His life begins when we gather around a Christmas tree-- full and alive and green. And then, we remember, His life ends when we kneel before the Easter tree-- stark and final. We look at the trees outside our windows now, and they seem stark too. But we know the spring, even with the death on that Easter tree, brings flourishing life back from the ground again. This full green tree turns to a horrible death tree but even that isn't the end. We thought the cross was final, but He flips it, and shows us even death is defeated, that an even better life comes after we think all hope is lost.

This whole season, He flips that, too. A manmade hustle and bustle and marketing frenzy, He flips that like He flipped the tables in the temple, and He says "not here, not now." This season is for stillness, for gathering, for falling on bended knee, for coming and adoring Him. This season isn't about the giving and the getting, but about the Gift Himself, come as a present to be present in our world.

Everything flips now. It's all flipped in His kingdom. The first are last, the last are first. The Savior becomes a baby. A virgin becomes a mother. A Christmas tree becomes the Easter tree. Christmas is about Christ and Christ alone. His life ends but it's only the beginning. We give up our lives, but it's not the end, it's the start of a life more abundant and free. We can't save ourselves, He saves us in spite of ourselves.

It's all flipped. What a mysterious, wild kingdom this is. What a story. What a Savior.