2011-12-22 - Unspeakable
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NASB)
Our expectations were about as far off as they could have been. Messiah came as a baby. That much might have been picked up from Isaiah. But many scriptures pointed to a King who would free those who believed from their oppressors. Most of us would have seen what we wanted to see as well. But on a night long ago a baby was born to a woman thought by most to have violated the trust of her betrothed husband and to that young man of lower position. The young man knew the baby was not his and had said so. They both claimed to have seen angels who told them the child was the promised Messiah. Even their parents must have wondered at these explanations and shaken their heads. Such a claim to make indeed.
But it was clear they loved each other and so off they went leaving Nazareth and heading of toward Bethlehem while the young woman was very late in her pregnancy. While they were there the boy was born and wrapped in strips of cloth and cradled in a manger. They were not expecting visitors but shepherds came who had been told by a sky filled with angels where to find the newborn Messiah. God's plan was in motion and a select few had been given a glimpse into that movement. At least a year later there would be Astrologers from the far east who would bring rare gifts to honor the One born King of the Jews.
None of us would have laid out the plan in this fashion. In all the details listed above and more there is a singular point that is the focal point of the ages. It is not the Higgs boson, or the big bang, the theory of relativity, calculus or landing on the Moon. It is this. That a member of the Godhead allowed Himself to be wrapped in human flesh and come and live with us as one of us. He lowered Himself - to know hunger, to see friends die, to become tired and require sleep, to deal with our emotions and feelings and desires that become the centers of our greatest inspiration and most difficult temptation. He became our mentor teaching us about the Father who loves us more than we understand. He railed against corruption and sin, correcting and guiding all the while with His hand and heart open to the repentant showing us the love and compassion of the Father.
In this singular point in time God moved the pieces on the chess board of time with precision. The sacrifice of the Son was unspeakable to take on our flesh. The grace of that act on our behalf were equally unspeakable. Our words and thoughts will always fall short of the power that was wielded in that moment. And while the world may deny it, we know the truth. That our faith is not a list of do and do not points on a page. We were drawn in by the compassion and mercy of a loving God, convicted of our need and given a gift of new life that is of unspeakable value.
Like a diamond this singular gift has many beautiful facets. Open that gift again this Christmas.
Grace & Peace,