If ever there was a person who moved into a “bad” neighborhood, beneath his means, it was Jesus.
I always chuckled when I heard the story of my former Senate colleague, John Ford, who did not live in the inner-city district he represented. His reason gave me reason to think of the significance of the Christmas story.
Senator Ford’s reported response to questions about why he didn’t live in his district was, “Who would want to live in my district?” I don’t know if the story is true, but it was told in his presence many times and he never objected. And he did live in a very nice home in a rather exclusive neighborhood in former Senator Curtis Person’s district.
The first thought, once you move past the initial sense of humor, is how arrogant to not want to live in the district you represent. But then I got to thinking. There are very few people, very few, who choose to live in a lesser neighborhood and house than they can afford. Our income goes up, and so does our housing. I don’t still live in a 700-square-foot apartment in a poorer neighborhood like I did in law school, though I could.
But then I thought of the Christmas story and was reminded of this verse:
Have this same attitude in yourselves which was in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:5-7)
If ever there was a person who moved into a “bad” neighborhood, beneath his means, it was Jesus. What an incredible thing—God choosing to move into our neighborhood so that we might know him.
If we think about it long enough, we may find ourselves responding like the angels who announced his birth: Glory to God in the highest!