He was not given the bed of kings. He was thrown into a manger.
From the night He was born, He was rejected. From the night He was born, people didn’t make room for Him. From he night the Savior of the world entered our atmosphere, He was discarded. And throughout His life He wasn’t accepted; He was thrown out, He was fought against, And He died still being amongst the Unwanted. His life started with rejection, and ended with rejection. And yet, as we pledge to follow Him, to be like Him, to know Him and duplicate His character, His footsteps, His love, and His life, we hesitate because we fear… being rejected?
Do we have any idea what it means to be like Christ?
We water-down our passions. We are apologetic for our practices. We talk down about the church more than atheists. We live in defensive mode—let’s be honest. We don’t want to be offensive? We don’t want to be forceful? We don’t want to be insensitive? That’s fair—I want to be aware of all those things too. But for most of us we haven’t put the time into figuring out how to be strategic or intentional in speaking to our co-workers, friends, and communities in ways that would show them the Gospel without being arrogant—so instead, we’d rather be silent. We can’t bear the thought of being rejected.
Who do we think we are—that we would bask in God’s favor, be blessed by His grace and mercy, be given gifts to challenge and convict hearts, and be pleasing in the eyes of the Almighty God, but not endure the hardships that the Savior, Jesus Christ also endured?
So my prayer this month is that God would change us. What if we found it a privilege to be born into a state of rejection, to die in a state of rejection, and to live a life in the middle that represents a Truth the world rejects—so that we may love like and live like the Redeemer of our souls? After all, our eternities have been saved because He was rejected.
This holiday season, Lord, I am reminded: When I chose to be born into a life living for you, I chose to endure whatever-- whatever it takes, all the hard stuff-- to be like you. In this world, there is no room for me here. But their rejection will not scare me. Their rejection will not stop me. Their rejection may crucify me. But just like you, I will speak the Truth anyway. I’d rather be like you-- than be accepted.
I don’t need the bed of kings. Throw me into the manger.
Luke 2: 34: “...to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.”