This is my favorite window at my church. At first I was attracted by the deep blues and purples of the sky.
As I spent more time with the window, I began looking at the people in it and wondering about them. Do you see what intrigued me?
When people came to visit me after my children were born, they were smiling. No one in this picture is smiling. Not the people. Not the angels. Not even the sheep or the camels. No one is smiling.
You would think that someone might be happy that the Messiah is born. This is, after all, the good news proclaimed by the angels. But Joseph looks as if he is about to cry.
It is as if they all recognize the dangerous thing God is doing. It is a very dangerous thing for God to become one of us. It is a very dangerous thing to live among us. It is a very dangerous thing to be the good news, the Word among us.
Each year we tell the Christmas story up to the coming of the Magi. It is a wonderful story. The Magi, gentiles from the East come and worship King Jesus. But we often neglect to tell the rest of the story. The Magi are warned by an angel to avoid Herod when they leave because Herod wants to kill the child. An angry Herod orders the death of innocent infants in a frantic attempt to destroy the Messiah. Mary, Joseph and Jesus flee for their lives to Egypt. This is a dangerous thing God is doing. Jesus was born into dangerous times. No wonder everyone is so solemn.
It is easy for us to make Christmas into a feel good baby story. Who doesn’t love babies? And we are right to rejoice at the birth of Jesus. But like the people in the stained glass window, we also need to give proper consideration to the dangerous thing God did for us.
Look at that baby. Is there anything God will not do for us?