Still Bringing People Together
Birth brings people together. One of the seasonal favorite songs, “The First Noel,” celebrates the good news about the birth of the King of Israel whom we know is the King of kings.
The word noel seems to be borrowed from French (nael) which itself is a derivative from Latin (natalis) meaning nativity, “the occasion of a person’s birth.” The first birth was not the first in history but rather the first in preeminence. Jesus is the true “firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth” (Psalm 98:27). He is the one who brings together.
Consider the group that His birth brought together. There was the unwed, teenage mother, Mary. There was the unheralded but steady Joseph. Then add the dirty “poor shepherds” outside the city, and also the “wise men came from country far.” God used a Caesar to get Mary and Joseph in place, angels to get the shepherds in place, and a star to get the wise men in place. Though all of them weren’t actually together on the same night, they did all come together around Jesus.
As do we. Who are we? We are not many wise according to worldly standards, not many powerful or of noble birth (1 Corinthians 1:26). We are more the previously sexually immoral, idolators, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, greedy, drunken revilers (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). But a baby was born. God by His grace and Spirit has brought a ragtag group together around the baby.
Matthew’s genealogy includes the outcast, scandalous, and foreigner. The family Jesus comes from anticipates the family he has come for. (Sam Allberry)
We who believe in Jesus are a new family, a new humanity in the Second Adam from above. Jesus’ birth, leading to His death and resurrection, is still bringing people together.