The mystery of Christmas

The mystery of Christmas isn’t some secret that we don’t know. It’s about a reality that our minds have trouble comprehending: the God of the universe became a baby.  

There is one common characteristic about every baby ever born – helplessness. They can literally do nothing for themselves. A baby must be fed, burped, and have their diaper changed by someone else. They must be picked up and moved, protected from the elements, and cared for or they don’t survive. How is it possible that the God of the universe would willingly subject himself to become such a powerless infant? How could he trust a young inexperienced couple with his future here on earth? That is the mystery. As one writer put it: “God’s infinity, dwindled to infancy.” 

As Jesus grew, he was just like any other child. The creator of the universe, the one who separated the land from the sea, had to learn to crawl across the floor before he could take his first steps. I wonder what his first words were. Did he drool much when he started teething? Did he catch the typical childhood illnesses?  

It is astounding that our God came to earth and was just like us. He knows what it is like to be helpless and frail, dependent on someone else. He did it willingly because he loved us. It wasn’t an experiment so that he could simply identify with his creatures. He came because there was no other way to rescue us from the powers of sin and death. To help helpless people, God himself needed to become the helpless one. A Christmas mystery indeed.  

“But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.  God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.”  Galatians 4:4-5 

Christmas evokes many feelings in people. But seldom do we pause to try and comprehend the baby lying in a manger. He is fully God and fully human – Emmanuel, God with us. May we never lose the sense of wonder and mystery at Christmas.   Have a wonderful Christ-filled Christmas.