There is a danger at Christmas time that we too easily rush beyond the baby. We reason that all this sentimentality about the baby takes us away from what the coming of Jesus is all about. This is understandable because we so easily become a bunch of besotted ogglers who look at the baby and say”Coo, coo; isn’t she like her Dad” and all that.
I do want to say that we should not be too quick to get beyond the baby at Christmas.
In Matthew 1:18-20a we read of how Mary was found with child though the Holy Spirit and was to be born into the home of Joseph and Mary. Concerning these things, we read that: All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’) (Matt. 1:22-23)
The incarnation should not be something we rush on from. We should stop and wonder at:
- The fulfilment of Scripture. The event of our Lord’s coming is rooted in the prophecies, pictures, promises and anticipations of the Old Testament.
- The Birth of our Lord is miraculous. Not born of the seed of the male, but found with child of the Holy Spirit.
- Our Lord was born into normality. He came right where we are. He was born; really born. He was born into a family. He did not just appear; He grew up in that family. He is God with us. We should marvel and worship. It means he knows what family life is. So let us remember: For we do not have a high priest who is unable to feel sympathy for our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Heb. 4:15-16)
- Our Lord was born into the mess of life. People do the maths! Nine months, but Joseph only took her to the marriage home at x months. The rumours remained. In John 8:41b we read the Jews saying ‘We are not illegitimate children,’ they protested. ‘The only Father we have is God himself.’ The obvious implication was that he was not born in such wholesome circumstances. “Oh Lord why was it not purer; why did you not come in more straightforward circumstances?” And then we marvel that he came where we were. Life for us is not straightforward; it is messy. God entered that realm.
So let us makes sure that we stop to marvel at the infant, the baby Christ Jesus. Let us marvel at His coming; ponder upon how He came. Let us stop and stay and worship.