People often talk about the wonder of Christmas this time of year. The beauty and splendor of the season. All of the lights and everything aglow. The sights of the decorations and the smells of the food on the table. The spirit of gift-giving and being together as a family. The twinkle in a young child’s eyes on Christmas morning seeing the gifts under the tree. But the greatest and real wonder of Christmas is found in the words of John 1:14. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” What really should bring wonder to us this holiday season is the truth of the incarnation; God taking on flesh and becoming a man without any way ceasing to be God. Adding humanity to His divinity.
Take a moment to reflect on what this means. The eternal God became a mortal man. The Creator became part of His creation. As Augustine simply stated, “Man's maker was made man.” The infinite clothed Himself with finite humanity. The One who holds all things together would be held in the arms of His mother. The One whom all things are dependent upon became dependent upon others. The Sustainer of all things would be sustained in the womb and at His mother's breast. The Bread of Life would become hungry. The Fountain of Living Water thirsty. The One who fills all space and time confines Himself to the single space of Mary's womb, then a feeding trough for animals, Calvary's cross, and Joseph's tomb. The Divine Word cries without being able to utter a word. The King of kings and the Lord of lords leaves His palace of heaven to lay on a bed of straw. The One who knows all things increased in wisdom as He grew older. For that matter we could say that the timeless One Himself could be spoken of as growing! The all-powerful One becoming weary after a journey. The God who never slumbers needing sleep. The One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills becoming One who had no place on earth to lay His head. The One rich in glory becoming poor so that we who recognize ourselves to be poor in spirit can become spiritually rich. The very Author of life would die.
Wow! Just let all of that sink in! This truly is the wonder of Christmas! Mark Jones has put it well, “The incarnation is God’s greatest wonder, one that no creature could ever have imagined. God Himself could not perform a more difficult and glorious work. It has justly been called the miracle of all miracles.” Who could have ever invented such an idea? That the God of the universe would become a man. And that He would become a man in order to save us from our sins and God’s wrath that we so rightly deserve. To enter into this dark messed up sinful world and undergo such inexpressible and excruciating suffering for the salvation of us sinners. There really is nothing quite like it. As J. I. Packer has said, “Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as is this truth of the incarnation.”
As you go through this upcoming holiday season, be sure to make time to ponder this deep truth that we celebrate. Don’t let it get lost in the hubbub and busyness of things. You will want to do whatever you can to keep it central in all that you and your family do. If you want to have a more worshipful Christmas, set your thoughts on this. Keep coming back to it again and again to have a reminder of it. The wonder of all wonders! God becoming man in order to live the life of perfect obedience that we continually fail to live, die the death which we deserve on account of our sins, experiencing the full weight of God’s wrath, and rise again three days later to conquer death itself and ensure that all who believe in Him will be resurrected as well after death. Could there be anything greater for us to celebrate? Anything that could possibly top that in importance? I cannot imagine anything.
Celebrating the glorious and wonderful incarnation