While rereading the Christmas story, I’ve considered current events. The first Christmas wasn’t a pretty time either.

When the King of Heaven poured Himself into the womb of a virgin, He didn’t choose the richest mother. He chose a young girl whom Scripture suggests was among the poorest of the poor in Israel. A girl from Nazareth, the town where it was said “Nothing good comes out.”

Further, Mary and her people group were brutally oppressed by the government. The Romans punished their own citizens with mere fines or exile, but many Jews faced much worse, sometimes even death by crucifixion. Their hearts yearned for a time when the Messiah would come to set things right.

Our King Jesus left his heavenly palace to identify with the harsh reality of our earthly trenches. Jesus didn’t choose the comfortable setting. When He was still young, His family fled their country to escape the mass murder of children from a ruling tyrant. Jesus, by our modern definition, was a refugee in Egypt.

One day our God will right all wrongs but until that day, He has made it clear what our actions should be. Think on the words from the prophet Micah: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (6:8).

We don’t just sit back and wait for God to come and take care of everything. The gospel which saved us also gives us the power to live courageous lives—to live embracing others, even though it likely means stepping out of our comfort zones.

This is the life Jesus chose to enter and experience firsthand. He walked alongside the abused and the mistreated and the outcasts of society. And when they grieved, our incarnate Savior wept with them (cf. John 11).