The incarnation—a miracle of God planned from the beginning of time. God knew His creation, man, whom He had lovingly sculptured in His own image, would fall. But God loves man and so He made a way to redeem him. Man’s spiritual death would be redeemed by a birth- the birth of God Himself to a lowly, young woman. The incorruptible God entered the world through a corruptible woman.
He could have come as a man, fully grown, ready to start His ministry. But God chose instead to leave His heavenly world, spend 9 months in the body of a woman, make the arduous, messy journey out of the woman’s womb, through the birth canal and into a sinful world. He took the form of a newborn baby, the most helpless of all humans, and at that moment in time, hope entered the world and His name was Jesus.
He chose as His vehicle a young Jewish girl, Mary, called “highly favored one” by an angel who visits her. She was, as T.S. Eliot says, “the place of impossible union where past and future are conquered and reconciled in incarnation.” Mary is the one constant is Jesus’ life. She brought Him into the world and watched as death took Him from this world. This “most favored woman” does not question God but presented herself as God’s servant and said “let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) Her faith was simple yet deep. Perhaps she remembered the many Old Testament scriptures that prophesied the Messiah’s birth. God had been in fact preparing the world for His arrival since before the world was created. The entire Old Testament is the story of a special preparation.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:9 2
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2
“The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.” Jeremiah 23:5
The miracle of the incarnation made possible the miracle of salvation. We marvel at how God, the creator of the universe, could become man. Yet we should also marvel at how God could love us so much that He would leave His heavenly throne to become like us. The miracle of Christmas is not just that “the word became flesh and dwelt among us” but that God chose to love us at all. The ancient scholar Irenaeus wrote, “The word of God, Jesus Christ, on account of his great love for mankind, became what we are in order to make us what he is himself.”
Take time this Christmas season to ponder, wonder, contemplate and reflect on this great love!
“See what an incredible quality of love the Father has given, shown, bestowed on, us, that we should be permitted to be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are!” I John 3:1 (Amplified Bible).
The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before…What is possible is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you. And you begin to grasp what it was you missed, like Moses in the cleft of the rock, watching God’s back fade in the distance. So stay. Sit linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon. Jan Richardson, Night Visions