An Advent Mystery

Oh there is so much about which I could write this afternoon.  The vote will soon occur within the United States House of Representatives on the two articles of impeachment against President Trump.  It would appear, barring some unforeseen turn of events, that he will become the third President to be impeached, the other two being Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.  We could also talk about the recent elections in Great Britain that really turned the tables on British Parliament and the entire Brexit position.  We could also write about the continuing unrest in Hong Kong and how the democratic movement there simply will not die.  And, of course, here in Minnesota the topic for discussion is whether the Vikings, with two games remaining, will be able to make the playoffs. 

But, this is the week before Christmas and I want to focus this afternoon on the second greatest miracle recorded in human history, that of the Incarnation.  [Note: in my humble opinion, the greatest miracle is that of the resurrection of Jesus Christ].  Incarnation is defined as "God becoming flesh."  In other words, God becoming man.  The Apostle John records these words: "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us" (John 1:14). 

Friends, God had graced the world He had made before that first Christmas.  Throughout the pages of the Old Testament we read of the voice of God that was heard.  In fact, while at Mount Sinai, the people of Israel had heard that voice and it frightened them so much that they said they did not want to hear it again (read Exodus 20:18-19).  We also read the accounts when God performed miraculous moments, such as the plagues in Egypt (Exodus 7-11), the crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 14), and the sun standing still (Joshua 10).  And then there are those times when the angel of the Lord appeared such as those visitors who met Abraham in Genesis 18.  No, God had not just created the world and then sat back and "let it do its thing" as many today would have us believe. 

But, as important as those events were, they did not accomplish the ultimate purpose of God, namely, to bring fallen mankind back into a reconciled relationship with Himself.  In order for that to happen, God would literally have to step into the human race.  And that is exactly what happened that first Christmas. 

Now, as I pondered that thought, I was driven back to a passage written by King David nearly one thousand years before the birth of Jesus.  You can find it in Psalm 139:13-15: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place."  What is David describing in these verses?  He is talking about an "in utero" conception and creation of a baby.  Since the time Adam and Eve conceived and delivered Cain, that is how babies come into the world.  If you would like, we can say that every baby is a creation of God, is overseen by the eyes and hands of God.  Every baby receives half of his or her genetic material from the mother, half from the father. 

Now, bear with me, Jesus was born as a baby.  That means that Jesus had a very unique chromosome set: half from Mary, His mother, and half from His Father.  [Interesting question: does God have chromosomes?]  And, if we examine both the Psalm 139 passage with the John 1:14 text we make this startling conclusion: within the womb of Mary, God recreated Himself as a baby.  God became a baby!  The infinite became clothed with the finite.  The immortal took upon Himself the mortal.  Jesus was the son of Mary, but He was also the Son of God.  Jesus was fully man, yet He was also fully God.  Have you figured that out yet?  No, have do I!  But I accept it by faith, for the Incarnation is foundational to belief in Jesus Christ. 

Friends, Jesus came to bear the price for my sins, for your sins.  He came to die.  He came as that "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).  The gift of life that He offers is free to everyone who will be accept that gift.  If you have not accepted that gift, I would encourage you to do so today!

I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas filled with the peace and presence that only Jesus Christ can bring. 


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