You may not be thinking much about Christmas this time of year, but my husband has already been thinking about it for months! Here, in an excerpt from our church’s summer newsletter, he shares some great thoughts on Jesus’ unique arrival…
“Have you begun thinking about the gifts you’d like to give this Christmas season? Are you dusting off your ‘ugly Christmas sweater’ and coming up with pranks to lighten the mood at the annual Christmas party? How many of us are listening to Christmas carols, thinking about snow falling softly on pine trees, craving eggnog, or pondering what ought to grace the Christmas tree… in July? Believe it or not, I am. The church choral music companies have graciously sent me piles of Christmas music to wade through, and oddly enough, what was at first an onerous task has become a blessing. Let me tell you why…
Somewhere in the midst of stacks of CD’s, choral music books and sheet music that I’ve filed in my ‘Potential Christmas Gems’ category, as I listened to song after song referencing the Baby Jesus, a theme began to emerge. I heard about His coming, His innocence, His birth of a virgin, His foretold arrival, His divinity. I heard about a drummer boy who allegedly played for Him, kings who brought Him gifts of allegiance, a madman who wanted to kill Him in His infancy, and a couple of crazy dreams that God sent to guide His earthly father, Joseph. All this I heard about, but what struck me this time around as I regarded our Messiah’s mode of arrival as a human was just that- His humanity. Jesus began His redemption of this earth as a BABY.
Maybe this is just now hitting home for me because Erica and I are expecting our own child this December, preparing a room as a nursery, learning everything we can about what babies are like, what kinds of care they require, and how we can be good parents. I don’t know much, but one thing I’ve learned thus far from nieces, nephews and other little friends is that babies can simultaneously melt your heart and completely gross you out. They simply will not let you forget that they are tiny human bundles of raw need… and yet more often than not, we delight to serve them.
Thinking about our unborn child, I can’t help but wonder on a new, deeper level that the God of the universe, the all-sufficient, all-powerful, great-beyond-description Creator of all that is and was and will be chose to become human for us. He needed nothing, and yet became need for us. The most capable Being voluntarily became incapable of caring for Himself, and depended on Mary and Joseph to do so for Him for a good long while. Mind = blown. Again.
Here’s a couple of thoughts to wind up these musings. First, if the Servant King embraced being served, who are we to do any different? Let’s not let our pride get in the way of graciously accepting the service of others; instead, let’s give the gift of being served to those who would delight to do so, even as our Lord did in coming as an infant. Second, Jesus’ humanity is just as vital to His redemptive power as His divinity. ‘He became sin who knew no sin…’ and He did so in the most humble way possible. So, wonder at the amazing Gift of the Christ coming as a humble baby to redeem His people to Himself. Allow yourself to be awestruck by His sacrifice for our sake. Even though it’s July, don’t forget that this sacrifice was made for every moment of our lives. And hang on tight for some great times spent in worshiping this God.”
In Joyful Surrender,