Guy who really wanted to work at the zoo
Gorrilla—kept the show going
Lion—“Quite down or we’ll both get fired”
Why tell that story because GK Chesterton an atheist convert to Catholicism said—“Man is the only wild animal”
Anyone who has seen Duck Dynasty or American Ninja Warrior knows that’s a true statement.
But what makes man wild, what makes you and me wild is not our ability to grow impressive amounts of facial hair or do amazing physical feats but that we have the ability to love. Our free will, our ability to choose to love another, regardless if we had to drag them into the car, or tell them 9 times that we’re are leaving. We choose to love our children, our family.
Real Love can’t be convenient. It has to be a sacrifice. That’s where our gospel narrative picks up. Let’s look at things from Joseph’s perspective for a moment shall we…He’s just a honest man trying to make an honest day wage to provide for his wife who’s expecting and then this guy Caesar Augustus has to go and be a big shoot and call this enrollment which means Joseph has to pick up and travel half way across the country at pretty much the worst time of the year, cuz it’s cold and his wife is going to pop at any moment. Then after weeks of travel he finally gets there, exhausted and hungry and there’s no place anywhere for them stay the night in Bethlehem, oh and now the baby decides it’s time to come on out. Talk about a string of inconvenience. Not a single word of Joseph’s is recorded in the Scriptures, that’s either because the words he would have used were like…ugh—ARE YOU KIDDING ME—NOW?—Really? Or he actually was patient, kind, generous, and righteous. All things, I need to work on, UGH. Joseph chose to love, to endure and even though things weren’t perfect—to go with it and let God provide. And He DID. Mary chose to say “yes” to this whole thing to begin with, to conceive by the Holy Spirit—because that’s normal—and bear God into the world. TALK ABOUT WILD.
But it gets better…God himself who literally can do more in one breathe than what Einstein or Michael Phelps or Pope Francis can do in multiple lifetimes proves Himself in love by becoming a baby, a helpless, needy, and dependent child. God takes on the inconvenience of human nature and redeems it through sacrifice.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever noticed but when you look at a baby Jesus as He is placed in a manger, the figurine looks like this (which is totally baby un-natural) we acknowledge the reality that from the moment of his birth written in his heart and in his body was His desire to be a loving sacrifice for you and me.
Switching from baby to grown man, a large man in fact none other than 7 foot 1, 250 lb Wilt the Stilt Chamberlain You might be familiar with his record breaking game on March 2nd 1962. Where he single-handedly scored 100 points in one game. WILD!!! That record will literally never be broken. Never there’s no way. What you might not know about that game is that 28 of his 100 points were from the free throw line, (28/32) 87% What’s impressive about that is when he came into the NBA he was literally the worst free throw shooter in the game. 2 or 3 guys could be hanging on him and he could score at will all by himself in front of the hoop, absolutely miserable. But this season he changed his style he went granny. He was shooting underhanded…over 60% on the season. So you would think with that success his career would have only gotten better, but after a year of the best free throw shooting of his life, he choose to go back to his original ways and once again was appalling at the line. He later told journalists that when he shoot underhanded he felt silly, like a sissy, and even though he knew it was wrong, he switched back. It was to inconvenient for him to do what he knew what he should have been doing. Let’s face it, it’s inconvenient to be Christian, it’s a choice and often it’s a sacrifice, but it is WILD. My invitation to us and my prayer for us this day is that this Christmas changes our lives, not because we got a new ipad or clothes that will eventually wear out, but that you and I choose today to live for the one who made the sacrifice of himself the gift that will always keep on giving. Let our lives be about loving Jesus Christ.