I have been struck afresh by the wonder of the Christmas story this year. It started after I read and mediatated on these words written by John Eldredge in Beautiful Outlaw (108-109); “The eternal Son of God, ‘Light of Light, Very God of Very God…one substance with the Father,’ spent nine months developing in Mary’s uterus. Jesus passed through her birth canal. He had to learn to walk. The Word of God had to learn to talk. He who calls the stars by name had to learn the names of everything, just as you did. ‘This is a cup. Can you say cup? Cuuup.’…For ages upon ages, his generous hand fed every creature on earth; now it is he that has to be fed, spoon-fed, drooling most of it down his chin like any other toddler. The Son of God doesn’t even know how to tie his shoes. Someone had to teach him how to tie those sandals John the Baptist said none of us were worthy to untie…Picture seven-year-old Jesus in the shop out back, learning from Joseph how to use a hammer and a saw. he who hung galaxies in such perfect poise, like a hundred billion mobiles, has to be shown how to nail two boards together. I take my shoes off. The humility of this is beyond words.”
I agree. The depth of love behind the incarnation is mind-blowing, heart-freeing and life-giving. As it says in John 3:16-17; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” The fact that “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:14)” is startling. Not only does it reveal a God who is willing to humiliate himself on our behalf but it also reveals a worth and a value to our humanity that we could never imagine. How often do we say, “I’m only human” in a self-depracating way? Jesus, by being fully humn and truly human, turns that on its head and says to us ‘that we’re not human enough.’ There is a glory to humanity that Jesus came to restore and he did so by taking on our human condition and putting to death all that stands against us; sin, Satan and death to name a few.
“Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by his death. By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the Devil’s hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death…We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. he’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all – all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” (Hebrews 2:14-15; 4:15-16. The Message).
Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man, Lord of Lords and King of Kings, brother, friend and Saviour. He came in the flesh for you; took on the humiliation of human limitations, the humiliation of the cross and by doing so, rescued us, freed us, gave life to us. The wonder of Christmas, as the old carols tells us is ‘the wonders of his love.’
Check out this ancient hymn, ‘O come, O come Emmanuel.’ Meditate on the lyrics that speak of victory over darkness and an invitation into the life of God.