Football fans who know a lot about football engage in Monday morning quarterbacking. If they had been in charge, they would have called different plays, and their favorite team would have won. Less than two weeks from today we will celebrate Christmas and Christians sometimes also practice Monday morning quarterbacking.

Instead of Jesus being born in a stable, he should have come in a chariot of fire drawn by fiery horses with many angels blowing trumpets, and violent thunderstorms all over the world and severe earthquakes causing mountains to disintegrate. That would have gotten the attention of a great many news organizations and the whole world would know that Jesus was born.

The prophet Isaiah, writing more than six hundred years before Jesus was born, expresses a similar sentiment in chapter 64:1-9. “Oh that the Lord would tear open the heavens and come down, make the mountains shake and make people tremble and God should do some of the mighty actions that he had done in the past”, like making a pathway through the Red Sea or making manna fall from heaven or water coming out of a rock.

But then Isaiah came back to reality and admitted that no one was paying attention to God and that all the righteous actions of the people were like so many polluted garments. He concluded that God was the Potter and that the people were like clay. The Potter knows what the clay should look like after he has formed it.

Jesus the son of God comes down from heaven and is born in a stable. He dies on the cross and rises again from the dead and sends a handful of people with the message of repentance for the forgiveness of sin.

Instead of second-guessing God’s plan, you and I will have a more blessed Christmas as we come to the Manger with the voice of the angels proclaiming in our ears “unto you is born a savior.” Then, like the shepherds, we can go on our way rejoicing.

Elmer Schiefer
Pastor, Family of Christ Lutheran Church