Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Child

A child at the parish brought Baby Jesus a Birthday Card
A simple, tender child. A great mystery.

The beginning of the Book of Genesis looks forward Him.  The prophets foretold Him. John the Baptist heralded His coming. The angels appeared to speak of His mission. Mary and Joseph said yes to Him. And yet at the coming of God in the form of a little child, we must stand in awe, shocked by what has taken place.

The Word through Whom all things were created, the Image of God the Father, the One by Whom we who are deserving of condemnation are able to gain redemption and salvation, comes to us as a child. An infant; helpless and pure.

He comes not in great kingly glory, though He deserves it. He comes not with great pomp and circumstance, though it is truly His right. He comes humbly, as so often God does in our lives. This is a great mystery to us; it seems almost absurd if we pause to think about it. The Holiest of holies comes as a baby. The King of kings  sleeps in a manger, where animals feed. A Father that permits His Only Begotten Son to endure persecution from His time in the womb until His death on a Cross. And yet He comes.

So great is the love of God for us that the Son of the Father stripped Himself of glory and power to come among us as a helpless child that must rely upon us to care for Him, protect Him and love Him. He does this not because He needs us, whom He created, but because we need Him. And so He gives us the greatest of gifts: Himself. He comes to us today not in a land far away. Not thousands of miles from here or in a time long past, but right here in this very moment. In this humble building, the God of all creation comes to us and gives Himself to us. He does this because he knows that by placing Himself in our arms, we are more inclined to place ourselves in His. By trusting in us, He allows us to entrust everything to Him.  And so He comes to us today – to each of us personally – to ask one simple question: Do you trust me enough to give me your heart?

He gives Himself up completely to us, a helpless child totally reliant upon our care. He does not need us to love Him, but He does desire it because doing so will bring us fulfillment and joy. O, Mystery of mysteries! God has come among us. He is here, the God who loves us so much. He is here. Come, let us bow down in worship. Come, let us adore Him.