So, yesterday’s devotion I received from Biola University was one of the best Advent devotionals I have read. Not only was there a powerful message within it, but it also quoted Talledega Nights as a part of it – Ricky Bobby’s prayer to the “dear lord sweet baby Jesus.” You can read the full devotional here. But what really stood out to me was the message of recognizing and embracing the “weird” that is the story of Christmas and the story of Jesus as a whole. I know that I have grown so used to the story that it doesn’t feel “weird” but if you really look at it, it is pretty strange. God born as a human, fully God and fully human, living as we did, teaching a radical understanding of God’s work in the world, dying as a common criminal, coming back to life, and then returning to heaven. And then a group of ordinary men and women who take this message and share it all over the known world at the time to the point that billions of people have lived this faith and continue to live this faith today. This should not feel like a normal story. It should not only sound radical (or weird) but it should be embraced as such!
So, as Evan Rosa, the writer of the devotion yesterday, closed his reflection said, “Yep, Jesus is a baby. It will come off as odd and off-putting to many. Keep it that way. Keep Christmas weird.”