Of Susan Boyle and Bastard Sons

Please pardon the title. The point I’m making is simple, but it has to get our attention to get it.

I spent Christmas thinking about the small and hidden things.

It was fun.

I’m an early riser. And of course, on Christmas morning, my kids were too.

So, to not wake the house too early, we put on the Nativity Story. We snuggled up and enjoyed this retelling of the events prior to birth of our mighty and humble King.

This movie always shakes me up in good ways. You see these awkward conflicts that definitely mirror how Jesus’ upbringing and ministry would be.

This no-name girl, a virgin will give birth to a son. She’s supposed to marry Joseph. Joseph had to be a kind and merciful man not to accuse her of adultery.

Jesus would grow up in this poor town with the judgmental gaze of all around him. He was actually a bastard to them. Joseph would have them looking on him the same way, writing him off for accepting his ‘whore’ of a wife.

Few would notice the amazing thing growing up in their midst.

In fact, the prophecies told about the Savior being born in Bethlehem. But few seemed to know that this is where Jesus was actually born. Then they ran off to Egypt, and ended up back in Nazareth. And about Nazareth, well, Nathanael said it best when Phillip eagerly came to tell him that he’d found the Messiah. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

I could go on and on about all of the incredible places that God seems to hide beautiful things. It seems like he really loves to make us look for it. He loves putting incredible beauty in unsightly places. He loves to take the wisdom and logic of the wise, and turn it into foolishness.

This is where Susan Boyle comes in.

I know, random. My friend got a cd of hers for Christmas yesterday, and we were explaining to the little ones who she is and how she ended up making a cd.

So I pulled up the video of that legendary first performance. The faces on the crowd said so very much.

It was amazing how confidently she walked out there, despite the scoffers. The camera moves around the crowd as the people are shocked by this woman from a pig town. She’s not exactly the diva type and certainly isn’t going to be gracing the cover of sexy magazines.

Simon and the other judges ask her some questions. She says she wants to be a professional singer. People smirk and laugh this off. But then…

Well, you all know the story. This amazing woman opens her mouth and out comes a force to be reckoned with, waiting for the world to hear.

God loves to do this to us. But if we think like the world would have us think… if we see as the world would have us see… we will miss it.

You won’t find Christ in the nursery of a mighty palace. You’ll find him in a trough, with stinky and gross shepherds around Him. They love Him. They’re safe with Him. They know that He sees them with the eyes of God.

Later, the lowly keep following Him around and leave behind their ways. Whores, criminals, traitors and outcasts all come to Him and leave their life behind. They want to follow this man from nasty ole Nazareth. He loves them deeply, and they know that they have a safe place with Him, a special place deep in His mighty heart.

Do they have the same with me and you?

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