Sunday a wonderful man in our church sang "Sweet Little Jesus Boy". He did a great job. My husband also loves that song. I have never been crazy about it. It took me a while to figure out why. I finally figured out my problem with it. I think it misses the point. Other people have told me that it's simple, it's simply a case of how we as mankind would have treated Jesus if we had known it was him. To me however that misses the point of the "least of these". So say we had known, some angel convinced Herod and he had a change of heart like Paul (though even as Saul he was devout in his beleif in God and not a vicious person). Ok so say Mary had been brought to a palace, given silk sheets and the best midwives, etc. The baby wrapped in satin and placed in a golden crib. Would that have made God happy? In my opinion it would not have made God happy, if somewhere else a young girl was giving birth in a barn. If someone was being mistreated. If someone was the victim of gossip or abuse. If anyone was being mistreated, then I don't think it would have helped to treat Christ well. He came to be one of us, not just one of us, but the least of us. He chose to come as a helpless baby. He chose as his mother a young unmarried woman. Her town had a choice to welcome the savior and support this young girl or to gossip and disbeleive her. I think they missed that opportunity. I think she chose to first go to her cousin and then to go to Bethleham with Joseph becuase she was not getting loving care at home. I live in a small town, I know how it is. She was probably looked down on and gossiped about. She was probably called a liar. When Joseph took her side, he was probably not treated much better. Do we really think anyone beleived thier story? They were ordinary people. During Jesus's early childhood they lived in Egypt, where they were foreigners, probablty treated much like illegal aliens are treated here. Joseph may have been accused of taking jobs from Egyption men. Mary probably did not speak the language of some of her neighbors. The culture around them was different. Something happened to Joseph. On the Cross Jesus asked John to look after his mother. His mother would have only been his responsibility as first born if his father had died.
I don't think he came expecting us to treat him how we treat our most important people. I think he wanted to see how we treated our least important people. I think He would have been pleased if we had shown him that we treat even the least important people well, but sadly that was and is not the case. I think the best gift we can give him this season is to treat others, everyone, the way we would have treated him if he had come into our lives and we knew it was Him.