The gems of Christmas

December 17, 2014 — Leave a comment

I love the rich cultural heritage of Christmas: treasured ornaments, warm candles, the smell of pine, Christmas cookies, chocolate, bells, Christmas music. It’s a beautiful season of wonder and joy.

But there are three special elements I often forget and I want to be sure these gems are added to my celebration this year.

The first is mystery.

“The miracle and meaning of the Incarnation can be so difficult to grasp that we can give up and start to view Christmas in ways that leave us impoverished and unimpressed with the real story. Even in the church our songs and reflections about Christmas can fail to leave people gasping in amazement or humbled in awe that God would come to dwell among us.”
Bob Kauflin

I don’t want to skim over the mystery of the Creator being born in the form of what He created, including:
*toes that collected dust and dirt
*hair that blew in the wind
*a stomach that digested olives and figs and fish
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*lungs that inhaled the brisk winter air of Palestine
*cheeks that became sore with laughing
*eyes that overflowed with tears

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This reality should make me awestruck in a jaw-dropping, heart-thumping kind of way. Or bring me to my knees.

“That man should be made in God’s image is a wonder,
but that God should be made in man’s image is a greater wonder.
That the Ancient of Days would be born.
That He who thunders in the heavens should cry in the cradle…”
—Thomas Watson

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Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.

Phillipians 2:6-7

Mystery indeed.

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