It is hard to fathom God entering creation as a baby if we truly dwell upon it. The magnitude of Jesus leaving his rightful place in glory to enter the world in such humility is incredible. Saint Augustine of Hippo so poetically captures the importance of it, “Man’s maker was made man that He, Ruler of the stars, might nurse at His mother’s breast; that the Bread might hunger, the Fountain thirst, the Light sleep, the Way be tired on its journey; that Truth might be accused of false witnesses, the Teacher be beaten with whips, the Foundation be suspended on wood; that Strength might grow weak; that the Healer might be wounded; that Life might die.”
Jesus stepping into the world is the greatest act of love. And each moment thereafter His love was revealed time and time again with each teaching, healing, and ultimately in His death upon the cross. Saint Athanasius in writing on this very topic put it this way, “This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die, and the law of death thereby be abolished because, when He had fulfilled in His body that for which it was appointed, it was thereafter voided of its power for men. This He did that He might turn again to incorruption men who had turned back to corruption, and make them alive through death by the appropriation of His body and by the grace of His resurrection. Thus He would make death to disappear from them as utterly as straw from fire.” He did so that you and I may no longer be under the bondage of sin, which alienates us from both God and one another. Instead, we may find the fullness of life here and now in restored relationship with Him as we turn to Him finding forgiveness, healing, and peace.
Often, in the midst of the busyness of these days we don’t soak in the full weight of this season. For in it is the foundation of our faith. The birth of Jesus sets into motion God’s plan of redemption and restoration for all of creation, giving our lives hope and purpose. In the days to come, as we reflect upon the year past and look with anticipation to the year ahead, may we hold our Hope ever before us. Spend time reading John 1 and reflecting upon it. Or, as I am I trying to do in these days, read through some of the saints' reflections upon this season. One you may want to explore is Saint Athanasius’ On the Incarnation found here. I pray that with fresh eyes and open hearts, we may continue to see, turn, and embrace the hope and love God lavished upon us at Christmas.