It seems that I have been neglecting the good ol’ blog as of late. This is due to an excessive amount of Christmas shopping and trying to maintain a life away from the keyboard. But I’m back.
I had a realization the other day. Maybe not a “realization” as much as it was a new understanding or a new appreciation for something I already knew. I was reading the Christmas story in the Gospel of Luke. Or maybe I was listening to it on audiobook. Either way, here is the passage that I had this new understanding about.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Luke 02:08-20 (NIV)
Now, I’ve read this passage hundreds of times before. It’s fairly straight forward passage. But I had a new appreciation for what’s going on this year. My brother just had a baby. He asked me to design some baby announcement cards that he could have printed up and sent to everyone so they can know about the birth. So I designed them and he printed them. And then I reread this passage and it dawned on me that this was God’s baby announcement. Now, of course I knew this was the announcement of Jesus’ birth before, but I suddenly understood better what was going on based on what was going on in my own family. God, just like my brother, wanted to send out an announcement to let everyone know that his baby boy was just born. And God, not to be outdone by human hands, put on the biggest and best baby announcement extravaganza to date… I know, it seems so simple and common.
But how common is it really? I mean, this is the night, for the first time in all of eternity that the infinite became finite. The uncontainable confined himself in the body of a fragile newborn baby. I’ve seen a newborn baby just hours after birth when my brother’s son was born. I didn’t want to hold him for fear of dropping him and “breaking” him. And this is what God became… think about it. God. Almighty God. Creator of heaven and earth. Originator of space and time. The one who sees the smallest molecule and the most colossal supergalaxy in the same way. God of all knowledge and power and wisdom and creativity and love. God. God became a baby. A screaming, crying, 7-lb baby boy. His all-seeing eyes had to develop from seeing blotchy light blurs for several weeks until he could see clear objects. His all-hearing ears had to learn the sound of his mother and father’s voices. His infinite mind had to learn how to speak and think and reason. His all-powerful hands had to develop in order to be able to grasp his parent’s finger. The God who stustains all life and matter of the cosmos was completely and utterly dependent on a teenage girl to care for him and feed him and love him else he would die.
It’s mind boggling.
But God did it just the same. He became human. And when that happened, he sent forth the most extravagant baby announcement man has ever seen. Millions of angels, in brilliant shining glory, shouting with flaming tongue, “Hey everyone! It’s a boy!” And do you think this thing would go unnoticed? I mean the angels could have appeared just to the shepherds. But that’s not, I would think, how an announcement would be made. I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to see the radiance of the angelic host’s for miles around and they turned the “silent night” sky into a burning day’s brilliance. Perhaps you could hear the chorus of the angel’s songs in the distance. Perhaps the surrounding villages were awoken by the spectacle. And then these smelly sheep herders come running into town trying to find this new baby. It must have cause a commotion. People probably were talking about it and trying to figure out just what was going on for days and weeks afterward. It’s fitting, though, to announce the arrival of the King of the universe in such a manner.
Merry Chrsitmas, everyone. It’s a boy! Spead the word.