As Christmas comes around, we pay special attention to the incarnation of Christ. If we pay attention, we note the harsh reality of a birth in a manger. The miracle of the Messiah is that he did not come to earth in order to sip from the cup of luxury and leisure. He worked at one of the most arduous of tasks before his ministry began; he was a carpenter. He lived a strenuous life in human flesh for the majority of his time on earth.
Divinity did not come down in royalty. He experienced the routine of the common man, likely enduring seasons of plenty and periods of want. He faced the incarnation with the intention of spending most of his time here as common. He didn’t do this in order to learn about us. He did it to show us what he already knew. The demonstration of sacrifice allowed us to realize that the Creator is not impersonal force but a loving individual.
The Lord became a baby–one of the most fragile forms of life–in order to reveal his personhood. In case you have forgotten that, find a nativity scene. Look at the child and imagine the surroundings as pure filth (most such manger scenes romanticize the reality). He came so that he could be Immanuel: God with us. Not God above us, not God over us, not God somewhere around us. He is here. He came because he wanted to be with us, and he wants us to be with him.
Take a relationship with him seriously. Don’t seek to be more religious. Don’t seek piety. Don’t even seek holiness or righteousness. Because the forms of such things that we are able to find won’t ever be adequate enough for him. Sin has ruined that opportunity. Now, we must enter into this relationship that he initiated by coming to us. And we do so through faith in his coming, his dying, and his rising again.
Divine took on flesh. Divine became a child. Divine lived a mundane life for thirty years before he radically changed the direction of the human story. He did so because he wants to know you, and for you to know him.