Christmas Eve
12/22/2008 | Author: RCW
Have you ever thought about how much irony (or perhaps a better word is mystery) there is in Christian beliefs?

  • We worship the One and Only Triune God. He is One and still being one, He is three.

  • We believe that Jesus was 100% God and simultaneously 100% man. To sacrifice either one (His divinity or humanity) amounts to something non-Christian.

  • We believe that mankind are created in the image of God, but somehow that image was "defaced but not erased" when mankind first sinned. Thus, humans--while being precious to God--are also deeply corrupt and innately capable of the most heinous evils.

  • God in His sovereignty is distant, remote, unreachable, unfathomable, otherly, sitting high upon His throne. (Theologians call this His transcendence.) Yet He is also close, near, reachable, revealed, intimately acquainted with us, involved in our every day affairs. (Theologians call this His imminence.)

  • And these are just the tip of the iceberg.

The pinnacle of ironies is truly this last one -- That God Himself, Almighty Sovereign of the universe with all power, all knowledge, and all wisdom would stoop down to live among us and reveal Himself to us. He could have simply appeared in all His glory and conquered the entire world. Indeed, this is the type of earthly king that some of His closest contemporaries expected Him to be. He could have "Lorded His authority over us" as most human leaders and rulers do. Why, if God had seen fit, He could have been a wealthy 21st century executive living in a swanky New York condo!

This of course was not the plan. Instead, God Himself took on human flesh (the concept theologians call the Incarnation). He came to earth in one of the most destitute lands at one of the more primitive times in history. Nobody had room for His parents to even bring Him into the world, so the birth that was announced to mere shepherds and foretold by the prophets instead took place in a stable for livestock. His mother laid Him in a feeding trough. Then the family fled to Egypt so that He wouldn't be killed.

A beautiful irony, it is Jesus' birth we celebrate - most precious of gifts, most holy of Kings.

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