I have grown up with the Christmas Story...
I have grown up with the Christmas Story...
And for me, when something is familiar - I tend to disengage. Things scroll by and I rarely stop to think about them. 
And maybe you, like me, have managed to miss the point of this story: The Son of God became human so that we could discover life with God, both in us and with us, a completely new way to be human.

Jesus' Birth in Bethlehem

Luke 2:1-7

At that time the Roman emperor

, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
All Returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.
And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home.
He travelled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.
He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child.
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.
She gave birth to her first-born son.
She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

At that time, much like our own time when peace and justice were only political slogans and death lurked around every corner, a virgin gave birth to a baby in a manger.
God “almighty,” God “the creator of heaven and earth,” God the crying, helpless infant wrapped in swaddling cloths.
Painting: Caravaggio nativity scene, of Mary and Jesus
By all appearances, it might have been another mundane moment. After all, every single minute, women all around the world, bring new life into the world.
But this young girl wasn’t carrying just any baby. She was carrying the one who is life himself, the eternal, durable, incorruptible, eternal Son of God - Jesus, who is the light of all humankind.
 “Gloria In Excelsis Deo!” It means, “Glory in the highest to God,” and it’s the song the angels sang when they announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds. The presence of God made known - not to leaders and kings, but to people like you and me.
God’s glory was made manifest in the mundane.

The Word Became Flesh

John 1:1-5

In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God, and the Word was God.

He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

The Savior of humanity was born a human being.
I try to wrap my mind around this fact. How does God, the one who spoke everything into existence, become a tiny speechless infant? 
In Jesus’ body, the Immortal One, the Divine Son was woven together with humanity’s wounded nature. 
The truth is, we were all sick with sin and destined for death, so our Creator did the only thing that could be done. God the Son took on human nature with all its limitations to recreate a humanity healed from sin and eternally united with God.
God put on flesh and dwelt among us to make possible a new way of being human – the only way which could lead us to life – the way of being human in the presence of God.
The story of Christmas is the story of Immanuel: “God with us.” 
I tend to think about this on December 25th, but it’s actually true every other day too. In Jesus, God is reaching out to you. 
You can be born again into his new humanity. Through faith in him, you can participate in the life that is truly life, starting now and lasting forever. He is our strength when we feel weak. He is our peace when we’re overwhelmed with anxiety. He is our light shining in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.
God is with us in the here and now.
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