23.12.11

The Gift of Humanity

Christmas started in September here. Decorations. Sales. More nativities then I have even seen in my entire life. But it did not really FEEL like Christmas until I helped a friend decorate her house for the holiday. 
It was at her house that I became somewhat enamored with her hand carved- beautiful- nativity set. I love the patterns of grain in wood. And looking at the strokes of where the knife cut away… This fascination with the wood ended with me holding the baby Jesus. (In my opinion-since childhood- the way you tell if it is a good set is if baby Jesus not attached to the manger.)
I turned baby Jesus over in my hand, and was surprised to find that his bottom was -unswaddled and well… carved out. Being the mature person that I am I called everyone’s attention to it. (And am consequently seriously concerned I will be remembered as the girl that discovered baby Jesus had an uncovered bottom.) 
It seems irreverent to think about Jesus… well you know. But then a dear sweet woman, (one that I thank God for often) commented about how often we strip Christ of His humanity. And it occurred to me, that it is just as much a sin as saying He is not God.
It is humbling to me, to think that He lived within the restraints of a human body. That He was born helpless, in need of His creation’s care. He grew to show us how to grow. And He died to show us how to die to ourselves and live in Him.
To disvalue His humanity is to pretend that He did not suffer; that there was no sacrifice. Stripping Christ of His humanity – strips Christmas of its most precious gift. 
Christ’s humanity is the reconciliation. It is the robe swinging down for the healing touch. The perfect lamb. The blood shed. THE FULLFILMENT OF THE LAW. It is love embodied. 
Jesus’ humanity is what made Him the perfect sacrifice. He overcame for us. Do you see it? He became breakable but He did not break. He was tempted and He resisted. He died, and He rose. 
That baby was and IS our only hope. He is Emmanuel. GOD WITH US! This Christmas ask God, to help you overcome your humanity, and to resist temptation -to live like Him. If He has done it, we can rest assured, He can help us through it. And He is with us, so we have peace knowing we are not alone. 
And that, is the greatest gift of all. God was satisfied to look on Him AND PARDON ME. Jesus was not an accident. God did not send Him to earth hoping He’d beat the odds and be perfect. He was fully God and fully man. The question then is not “can we overcome?” but rather “do we believe (and live in such a manner) that Christ already has?”   
Let us this year live in His victory!

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