“He, through whom time was made, was made in time;
And He, older by eternity that the world itself, was younger in age than many of His servants in the world;
He, who made man, was made man;
He was given existence by a mother whom He brought into existence;
He was carried in hands which He formed;
He nursed at breasts which He filled;
He cried like a babe in the manger in speechless infancy–this Word without which human eloquence is speechless!”
Augustine of Hippo, Sermon on Christmas
The glitter, the glitz, the shiny bows and brightly wrapped packages; evergreens aglow, tables laden with every sort of food and favor, these are the trappings of how we celebrate Christmas. And enjoy these things though we may, they are mere allegories, like dancing shadows on the walls of Plato’s cave, fragile in their representation of a glorious truth…
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…*
Celebrate the mystery of the Incarnation. The jumping off point of the Gospel, without which there would be no Good News. Rejoice in the birth of Christ as a revelation. Revelatory grace and revelatory love.
What child is this? Born in a manger in Bethlehem. Living life as the perfect God-Man and dying for the sins of the world. He is the clearest picture of who God is. The purest portrayal of the Father. The transcendent God who takes on human flesh, intersects with time and enters history. Our history and our future. His birth changes everything. Glory to the Newborn King! Who can fully appreciate the miracle of the Incarnate God?
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).*
God with us, worthy of the best celebration. This Christmas, I pray for you a holiday with its eyes on eternity, resplendent in its reflection of the Light of the world. May the reality of the Incarnation inform your heart and mind, manifesting itself in a glorious burst of ineffable praise at the mystery and truth of what God has done.
*(John 1:14, Matt 1:23)
By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel