He came. In the dead of night, he came.
He came not to a palace, built for royalty, but to a cave in the hillside, built for animals.
He came not to a king and a queen, but to two teenage parents, terrified and utterly unprepared to be parents.
He came not to robes and blankets, but to strips of whatever pieces of clothing Joseph could find to tear apart to shield his naked body from the evening chill.
He came not to the wealthy, but to a group of shepherds on a hillside, in the middle of the night. Societal outcasts. Ruffians.
He came not to the religious elite, but to a band of pagan astrologers from the East.
He came not with fanfare, but to a town that most likely didn’t even realize he’d been born.
Though he came in the violence of human birth, he would usher in a new way of living. One of peace. Of loving the enemy. He would defeat violence once and for all.
Though he came into a world overrun by political occupation and corruption, his kingdom would not be a political one. The kind of kingdom he was ushering in would make no sense to the political elite.
He came as a threat to the establishment. Herod wanted him dead, and later, the religious elite would want him dead as well.
Everything about the way he came was completely backwards. A manger, unwed teenage parents, shepherds, and pagan magi. Surely this was not the arrival of a king.
But you see, that is the way of the Christ. He comes where he is least expected. He stoops down to join us in the chaos. He shows us that the way up, is down. The last are first. The poor are rich. The enemy is loved.
He is indeed a king, just perhaps not the king we were expecting.