8:20 AM With a baby bottle in one hand and a baby goat in the other, it’s easy to think about what took place at the incarnation. When God became man He didn’t do so as a king, aloof and invincible. “He became a little baby thing/that made a woman cry” (George MacDonald). Christ took our nature and accepted our limitations, exposing Himself to our temptations and experiencing the full bitterness of our sorrows. He lived our life and died our death. A newborn goat can’t rise to your heights. You must stoop to its depths. And that’s precisely what Christmas — our “Incarnation Festival” — represents. Jesus became one of us without any loss of His own identity. He descended fully into our human reality. He who had been the Creator of the universe became a creature. He who threw the stars into space was now wrapped so tightly in swaddling clothes He couldn’t even move His own arms. He who was the Word of God was now speechless except for the cries of a newborn infant. And He on whom all things depended was now dependent upon His earthly mother and father. Then, when He grew up and matured into manhood, He changed the rules of the game forever by insisting that He was the only way to God. And so He demanded from His followers their total allegiance and even promised them that such allegiance could cost them everything, even separation from their earthly families. The baby that was born to two Jews in a stinky barn eventually grew up to become my Savior and my Lord, and, I hope, yours too.
Today churches will be filled to capacity with people who’ve come to hear the Christmas story again. I will be among them. But I must never forget that the baby grew up, and that today He does more than drool and coo.
(Nativity scene credit: Openclipart.org.