Two messages, on the surface about the same thing. But one authentic, life applicable and full of truth and hope, the other contrived, even pompous and very empty.
This night is about Emmanuel; about brokenness, darkness and the least among us. It is easier to ponder in those kind of places and with those people, because that is how it took place; without pomp & circumstance, lowly shepherds and an unwed, pregnant couple. The former, smelly and dirty, living out in the fields with sheep, the latter staying with some kind folk and their animals, even using a food trough for a bassinet. And yet, this is the contradiction that brings truth, hope and freedom.
There was no big glitzy production, only a seemingly small event that went unnoticed by most. And then, some 30+ years later an empty tomb and a new day dawning through yet more seemingly contradictory circumstances?!
Yes, there likely were big, fancy events and productions happening that night in Bethlehem and elsewhere, but Mary pondered the greatest events of all as she gazed lovingly on her baby lying in a manger.
There is a beautiful, life-giving mystery here, but it will cost you your worldly life to discover it! And, it WILL be worth it!