differentWhat If?

If Jesus came to earth as a baby now, how different the story would be.

Jesus, born to an unwed mother living in the projects. Would Mary post a selfie on Instagram with the hashtag #youwontbelievewhatjusthappenedtome #imagonnaglorifythelord just moments after Gabriel leaves her tiny, top-floor apartment?

Imagine Mary trying to convince her family these days that the “Holy Spirit overpowered me, and I’m pregnant with the Son of God.” Nope. Not a single soul would understand.

In a world of incredulity, where half the world seems fake and photo-shopped, truth seems beyond our grasp. Too often, the lines between reality and its virtual counterpart blur and make us shake our heads and wonder. Wonder if truth has gone the way of the dinosaurs.

Jesus came at the perfect time and to the perfect place. Mary and Jesus had time to raise Jesus in relative seclusion. No reporters crowded around the stables or followed the King’s every milestone from infant to coronation. Tabloid reporters, paparazzi, and talk-show hosts never darkened Mary’s doorway. No one worried about #fakenews. Back then, your actions told the truth.

A Different Story

differentInstead, the story stayed simple. Gabriel visits Mary and calls her to holy motherhood. An angel comes to Joseph in a dream and assures him that Mary’s babe is the Son of God. The donkey carries them to Bethlehem, where the inn has no room. Baby Jesus, born to humble parents in a humble situation.

Simple shepherds seek their Savior. Wise men follow the star. Mary treasures up the evidence of divine providence, knowing that her child has a purpose beyond her comprehension. This story, so different from what she expected as a young girl when she contemplated marriage.

The simplicity of the story preserves its truth through countless generations. Jesus, the Son of God, come to live among us so that we would know that someone knows our pain. Rejected, denied, betrayed, anguished, snubbed, unfriended, abused, tired, hungry, persecuted. Jesus experienced everything bad so that he would know, really know, what we go through.

He came not only to save us from our sins, but to come alongside us in our pain, our doubts, and our darkness. That knowledge shines a light into the darkest of days and blackest pain.

Jesus came to shine a light into our darkness; to come alongside us in our pain and confusion. Jesus knows. #Advent #Christmas Click To Tweet

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14 Comments

  1. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it.” The story is still the same isn’t it? We may tell it differently but our feelings and the story truly remain the same. One year my Christmas sermon went along the lines of telling the story using today’s social media forums. Blessed to be your neighbor at FMF this week.

  2. Anita, wow! Today no one would believe or care that an unwed mother was having a baby. Few would even believe Mary was a virgin. His perfect timing for sure makes the account of His birth that much more amazing. Thanks for this.

    1. Speaking of different, hearing all sides might lead to a different conclusion.

      Pro 18:17  He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.

  3. I watched a program a couple of years ago about how perfectly situated the Nativity is in time and space. One of the points dealt with the importance of the Roman road system. Those fairly new pathways provided transportation and communication routes for spreading the Good News. Thanks for the reminder that there are no coincidences with God, only His perfect plans.

  4. I LOVE the what if question. As a story writer, it leads me down some interesting paths. But this what if…it’s a challenge to me. What does it look like to lead a simple Jesus life in the midst of the modern world? Thanks for the thoughts and the challenge 🙂

  5. Imagine! I can’t even picture it. But it also makes me wonder, how simple were things then? What parts of the story are unwritten? I know the things we need are written in that beautiful Book, believe me. But I can’t help but wonder what went between the lines.

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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