He is the author and we are his story, rebelling against him. But, the creative God who wrote the story, “in the beginning”, isn’t finished.
How’s this for a fairy tale: the author becomes a character in his own book. His creative opus of goodness has turned to darkness and death. And none of the characters in the story can break the curse. So, he breaks the rules and enters into the story himself, shining his light and love and beauty back onto the page.
Incarnation! The painter has entered the painting! There is no way to overstate how remarkable this is. The infinite God becomes finite: bound by human skin. The Almighty God unbounded by time and space wets his diaper, nursing at the breast of a young woman in Bethlehem. The one who flung the stars into place becomes mortal, subject to death and boredom and lust and fear and anger and the rest of our human experience. The maker-of-all enters into what he made.
And his timeless goodness overflows – breaking lose from infinity once again into our historical timeline. Speaking a new reality into existence. The Word become flesh. The God of time and space transcended into our planet to show us who he is. To show us the best part of ourselves: The part of us that was made in the image of the maker.
And, what was the glory of God?! What did it look like when Christ fully trusted The Maker?
It looks like surrender and resurrection. It looks like a man who is confident in compassion over competition. A man who saw the image of God in the outcast, the broken, the sick, and the discarded. Incarnation. Transcendence.
Christmas is the story of the poet entering the poem… To Heal. To Love. To light our path. And, to lay his life down for us, to show us a better way. Where the God of infinity, enters the story of one planet, to redeem one species. And, as the lens starts to zoom in, the story of Christmas gets personal, with the focus on you.
The author of time and space wants to enter your story. He stands at the door and knocks. He wants to break into your heart this Christmas. He wants to heal. He wants to light your path. He wants to lay himself down for you. And, every moment including this one, begs the question: what creative act will you choose? Will you doubt his goodness? Or, will you accept his gift of incarnation?
My friends, let’s enter the story! Let there be healing! Let there be light!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
The intentionality of the incarnation shows the endless compassion of my maker. The maker of heaven and earth chose us! Transcending time and space for us!
When I think about how truly loved I am, the fears, and pressures, and disappointments of the day are put in their proper place. This is my identity: I am loved by my maker! The infinite reference point from which all worth derives its meaning has esteemed me valuable and wanted.
Against the backdrop of the incarnation the meaning of life is put in its proper context. The question is not whether I believe in a God of love. Rather, the question becomes, “Love do you believe in me?” In the incarnation, God himself crossed all boundaries to answer that question. In an emphatic, resounding, triumphant: “Yes! I love you even unto death!”
‘Tis the season to celebrate the greatest gift we’ve ever received: the boundless love of our maker. Let all of our gifts be put in their place in the shadow of this, the greatest gift. Even juxtaposed against the endless material desires of the Christmas shopping season my needs are really quite simple:
Love himself is all I need.
A CHRISTMAS GIFT FROM SWITCHFOOT
*Used with permission from Jon Foreman’s “The Story of Christmas” devotional.