Being pregnant at Christmastime, I find the reality of Christ's birth and humanity incredibly stirring. As I feel this little one inside of me kick and squirm, I think of Mary, who undoubtedly felt the same things. I'm filled with wonder then when I consider that the little one she carried was the Son of God.
The Christmas story is a startling one. No where in any other religion do we hear about the gods becoming like their subjects. In fact, in most religions, the gods stay completely separate. They keep their distance.
This is only one aspect of Christianity that makes it so totally unique. Our God does not keep his distance. In fact, he gets so incredibly personal that he is carried inside a woman! He goes through those fascinating changes, and develops eyes and ears, a brain, and skin. Our God was at one point the size of a sweet pea, a blueberry, a lemon! Imagine that... the God of the universe - the God who MADE sweet peas.
Talk about vulnerable.
Then this little sweet pea grew. He grew and grew and grew until there was no more room inside of Mary. She was "heavy with child" - basically, she was ready to pop! And so God the Son was born.
Do you know how messy birth is? It's pretty messy. Actually, it's gross. 'Nough said, right?
But God the Son was willing to go through that process so that he could be, in every way, like us. In fact in Hebrews 2, God's Word says "it was necessary."
Why was it necessary? Why did Jesus Christ become so very vulnerable? Because God looks down from heaven and aches to see that things aren't right. Nothing is as it was meant to be.
I already mentioned one on my favorite Christmas songs. Another one is Keith and Kristyn Getty's Joy Has Dawned. "God's salvation now unfurled, hope for every nation. Not with fanfares from above, not with scenes of glory, but a humble gift of love, Jesus born of Mary... Hands that set each star in place, shaped the world in darkness cling now to a mother's breast vulnerable and helpless. Shepherds bow before the Lamb gazing at the glory. Gifts from men of distant lands prophesy the story: Gold, a King is born today. Incense, God is with us. Myrrh, his death will pave a way and with His blood he'll win us."
The Christmas story captures for us a momentous occasion in history where the God who made the universe becomes like us in order to save us.
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope your heart is full of the joy and wonder of this Christmas story!