Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Inversion!

For the last couple years, concerned conservative believers have railed against the upside down Christmas tree, worried that it was some sort of attack on traditional Christmas--and thus Christianity.

I'm not interested in defending or attacking the upside down tree, though I have read some interesting comments that the inverted evergreen was a symbol of Christianity in 12th century Germany. Apparently, the upside-down-ness (or downside-up-ness, as the case may be) emphasized the triangular shape of the fir, making it an ideal illustration of the Trinity.

Be that as it may (or may not, should it be complete bunk,) it makes me think of all the other "upside-down-ness" that is at the heart of Christmas.

--The tiny, insignificant town of Bethlehem becomes great as the birthplace of the Messiah. (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:4-6)

--Lowly, ill-regarded shepherds become recipients--and first bearers--of the greatest news earth has ever gotten!

Consider Mary's Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55):

--The humble handmaiden, Mary, is called blessed by many generations to follow (vs 48)

--The proudly secure are scattered (vs 51)

--Rulers are brought low, and the humble are exalted (vs 52)

--The hungry are filled and the rich are sent away empty (vs 53)

Then, in the greatest inversions of all,

--Exalted, glorious God leaves behind heavenly glory and constant angelic worship and a life of royal ease to become a lowly human baby, born in humble surroundings. This child grows up to live the life of a servant, and ultimately give his life in behalf of sinners!

And because of this:

--Sinful human beings enter into blessed restored relationship with God, wherein we can truly call Him "Father," and ourselves the sons and daughters of God!

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