About That Holy Baby

12/23/15

We were all gathered in the boys' bedroom, our four bodies strung over every soft surface not frosted with books. I was reading from Max Lucado's The Crippled Lamb, tired voice stringing together the story of a handicapped orphan lamb who would witness the birth of the King of Kings in a humble stable.

"This baby is God's son", I read aloud, "He came to teach us about God".

All true, of course.  But the words fell flat on my ears.  Has it become that rote, that audaciously normal, that God would send us His Son in the form of a baby?  Why did my heart not leap, or at least flicker at the wonders my tongue and lips had just formed?

Hanging floppy-limbed over the top bunk, my 5 year old erupted, loud and uncontainable.

"But the baby IS God!!!  The baby IS God!!!"

And just like that, up went my heart.

And just like that, up went all our hearts.  The weary world rejoices.

*

In the beginning was the Word.  
The Word was with God and the Word was God.  
And the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us.

The wonder isn't that a god sent down his son to dwell among men: Greek mythology gives us that.  It's not that he came to teach us about God: many great men and women have done that.  The breathtaking, heart stopping, gut wrenching wonder of the Incarnation is that God Himself became our own flesh and blood.


But couldn't he have come as a grown Man? A king, or at least a rabbi?  Could the living God not have condescended to take on human form and still retained some semblance of dignity? Of authority?  Couldn't He have come without giving everything up to do it?

But no.  He came as the weakest, the most vulnerable of us: He came as a fetus.  He came in total and complete need of His mother's nourishment and His earthly father's protection.  He came with absolutely nothing.  Even my five year old can see that this plan is more than radical: this is offensive.  And yet this is true.

So what does it mean for mankind?  How then shall we live?  What are the implications of this Great Audacity upon humanity?

It means we can never, ever, ever look upon the face of another human being as anything less than the face of Christ.  Whatever choices they've made, whatever circumstance they're in, however far they are from our own pious ideas of righteousness: their humanity has been paid for dearly.  And we can never separate who they are from who He is, was, and always will be.

One of us.



*throwback photo of Moses at a few months old
**link is an Amazon affiliate

Someday, the light will shine like a sun through my skin & they will say, 'what have you done with your life?' & though there are many moments I think I'll remember, in the end, I will be proud to say, I was one of us.

(Brian Andreas, Storypeople)

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