Christmas 2016

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On Christmas day, the LORD did not enter our world in a pyramid, or a temple, or any high place created by men. The LORD did not enter our world with a face cast in gold, or the body of a fantastical beast such as those of Egypt. The LORD did not enter our world described as superhuman as the gods of Greece or Rome. The LORD did not enter our existence surrounded by an army, or a court. Powerful men did not proclaim the LORD. There were no screaming horns or thundering drums. The LORD did not come as a flash of light, or pillar of fire, or luminous cloud. The LORD did not come with fanfare, or fireworks, or glitter, or power, or fear, or domination. These are the other ways gods have entered our imaginations.

Our LORD came through a people who avoided much of that. The Gospel writers make a point Mt 1:1-25 of describing His lineage. The Hebrew God of the covenant, not a god made by human hands. Hebrews are humble migrants on a journey. A God that simply declares “I Am.” The Word. A LORD God that creates a universe and breathes life into man. That is lineage. Then a LORD God, the Christ Child, that enters the world nearly the same as us. The infant LORD is born into the world, born of a virgin. Mary. A LORD born as man, Jesus the Christ. Messiah. Word made flesh. This is profound.

The first list gives how many have been led to believe how god exists. It is through magnificent monuments, magic, theatrics, artistry, manipulated emotions, and power. They are the gods of ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Assyrians, and numerous regions throughout that ancient world. They were, and are, gods designed to prop up men. They are gods designed to hold captive men. They still exist today.

That is so different from the God of the Nativity. Through that God of the Nativity, the divine enters humanity in the most universal way imaginable. The LORD comes in the flesh, born of the flesh. God enters our existence in a way that is universal to all people, with flesh and blood and birth and as an infant. The LORD enters our lives in nearly the same way we enter Gods creation. Nearly because this one comes without sin. We however have our faults and vices. This is the LORD of Christians. It is the Christian Epiphany, God manifest as an infant. Born in a manger, and far removed from all the magical fabrications of man. Pure and simple, profoundly innocent. Enlightening to all who dare open an eye, or listen to a voice. The voice of an angel. Of absolute importance is this Epiphany, it is the foundation of the Christian faith. The first belief. Our God comes to us as a Child in a manger. An infant with all that suggests.

Interesting how this God enters our life in the humblest of ways as an infant, innocent and vulnerable. As an infant in a manger, He teaches us of our relationship as Gods children. As an infant dependent on a parent’s protection, this Christ Child teaches us to be dependent on God by observing that relationship between parent and child. As this divine Child walks through life, we learn to walk with the LORD. Our lives grow in his, and we gain wisdom through His walk and that journey begins in a manger. The first lesson taught begins simply with a birth. The lesson of love, and humility, and innocence, and dependence. The purely innocent Lessons of Infancy. These lessons are learned quietly, more through by emotion than reason. They are the first lessons of life so easily forgotten, and so quickly corrupted. That might be the focus of Christmas. Not to look so much at what this Child will become because that will unfold. We grow with the Christ Child. For this moment scrutinize where He is on this nativity day. God is an infant in a manger.  That is miracle enough to contemplate. What does that Child ask of us, what is that Child telling us, and what are we commanded to do?

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