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December 24, 2022 7:00 pm
The Barker family Christmas video was perfect. Three robe-clad shepherds (the family’s young sons) huddled around a fire in a grassy field. Suddenly an angel descended from the hilltop—their big sister, looking resplendent, except for the pink high-top sneakers. As the soundtrack swelled, the shepherds stared skyward in amazement. A trek across a field led them to a real baby—their infant brother in a modern barn. Big sister now played the role of Mary.
Then came the “bonus features,” when their dad let us peek behind the scenes. Whiny kids complained, “I’m cold.” “I have to go to the bathroom right now!” “Can we go home?” “Guys, pay attention,” said their mom more than once. Reality was far from Christmas-card perfect.
It’s easy to view the original Christmas story through the lens of a well-edited final cut. But from start to finish, Jesus’ life was anything but smooth. A jealous Herod tried to kill Him in infancy (Matthew 2:13). Mary and Joseph misunderstood Him (Luke 2:41–50). The world hated Him (John 7:7). For a time, even His brothers didn’t believe in Him (7:5). His mission led to a grisly death. He did it all to honor His Father and rescue us.
The Barkers’ Christmas video ended with these words of Jesus: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). That’s a reality we can live with—forever.