Bringing the Text to Life

The Knockoff Jesus Luke 1:26-38

The Knockoff Jesus

We don’t want a tiny baby Jesus, so tender and mild, to distract us from the one who is the genuine article, the Son of the Most High.

“I like the Christmas Jesus best.”

That’s what Will Ferrell says in the comedy Talladega Nights, when he is playing a stock car driver named Ricky Bobby. “Dear tiny Jesus,” he says as he begins his prayer at a family meal. “Golden fleece diapers, with your tiny, fat, balled-up fist ….”

“Jesus did grow up,” his wife reminds him. “You don’t always have to call him baby.”

“I like the Christmas Jesus best when I’m saying grace,” he insists. And so he continues his prayer, “Dear 8 lb., 6 oz., newborn infant Jesus. Don’t even know a word yet. Just a little infant, so cuddly, but still omnipotent …. Thank you for all your power and your grace, dear baby God. Amen.”

Now we might laugh at Will Ferrell, but the truth is that we like the Christmas Jesus, too. We love to sing “Away in a manger, no crib for his bed, the little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head.” We get...

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