The Baby Jesus Taught Us How to Scream

From the cradle to the cross, Christ in his humanity showed us how to cry out. In him, a not-so-silent night is a holy night all the same.

This piece was adapted from Russell Moore’s newsletter. Subscribe here.

Before I begin, let me tell you that I hate what I am about to do. That’s because few things exasperate me more than the people who Well, actually Christmas songs. True, there was no innkeeper in the gospel Nativity accounts. We don’t know how many wise men there were, but we know they weren’t there at the same time as the shepherds. But nobody wants to be under the mistletoe with the guy arguing about how much Mary knew.

You no doubt know that the idea of a “Silent Night” is Victorian sentimentalism more than biblical reality. “The little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes” assumes that a baby’s cry is a sin rather than part of the good human nature the Son of God assumed. We shouldn’t stop singing those songs, but at the same time, maybe we should ponder exactly why the screams from the manger really do matter for us.

The Gospels reveal that the Nativity scene was in the middle of a war zone. Joseph was trekking to the City of David with Mary to participate in the very thing—a census—for which God had repudiated David himself. And he was doing so at the command of a pagan Roman government occupying the throne of David, seeming to invalidate the promise God made to his people. The puppet bureaucrat warming that seat—King Herod—was so enraged by the Davidic prophecies that would threaten his position that he, like Pharaoh of old, ordered all the baby boys of the region to be killed.

This mass murder was, Matthew reveals, a fulfillment of the words of the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing …

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Title: The Baby Jesus Taught Us How to Scream
Source: Christianity Today Magazine
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Date: December 21, 2023 at 08:06PM
Feedly Board(s): Religion