I’ve been pondering this one phrase that has so completely captured my imagination:
This Incarnation Celebration Season, aka Christmas, we rave about the commercialism and the church services, the cookies and the presents, even our fiercely-held traditions of being with family or reading the Story itself, but shame on us if we neglect the powerful condescension that fuels this entire thing.
There is a God, and he has bothered to make himself known to us. There is a God, and he has called himself our Father in Heaven. There is a God, and he came.
As J.I Packer writes so plainly and beautifully in his book, Knowing God, despite the magnanimity of Him, we have made God so common, so base–we have lost the sense of awe and reverence for him. God has bothered! The fact that the God of the entire universe wants to know us demands a response of absolute love and commitment.
The Gospel shows us something even more ridiculous. Not only does God seek to know us and has revealed himself to us through a Word, but he came down here for the ultimate goal of paying for our mess and providing a way to have a relationship with him by dying. Himself. Here. For us. For you. For me. “Emmanuel” (God With Us, Matt 1:23) is laughable, wonderfully unbelievable if you actually pause amidst the frenetic religiosity and obsessive trendiness of our modern age. He CAME. To RESCUE US!
It is always a deepening journey the more you look into the Bible and see such things. Growing up among Christians, I think it’s hard to fully understood the impact of the truth. When God is always a part of your atmosphere, there is a comfort level that creeps into your vision and prevents you from being able to wonder and bow at the throne in complete adoration. Because, hey, we’re used to the altar; it’s always been there in the corner,after all.
Since the end of Year 2 and especially since the start of Year 3, the Lord has led me past, has shaved more scales away, and has bottomed out my spiritual floor to show me more of his transcendence through the Scriptures. I see Christmas differently these days, praise God. I pray we all can: there is a much more significant thing to celebrate than some milquetoast-y looking kid in a manger scene. This is celebrating the Incarnating of God, his choice to come down as a man and be born like you and me in order to save our souls.
Ponder this well. I am too. May we all see the light of Bethlehem and not just think it’s a pretty star, but an indication of the most awe-striking truth in the universe.