I have always loved the holidays: the celebration, family and friends, the lights, the Christmas tree and the giving and receiving of gifts. But the last few years have been more weighty than wonderful—something to get through, rather than something to enjoy.
I heard A.J. Swoboda once say that Christians “Thomas Kincade” the nativity scene: we dress it up into a neat, pleasing picture that doesn’t show the honest details. I think we sometimes do that with our lives, too. We hide our authentic selves from everyone (thank you, social media) and from our congregations. But as we see in the Christmas story, there is a vulnerability.
God came to us. He took on flesh. He was a baby held in the arms of his mother. He was a refugee in Egypt. It’s strange to think of God in this way, but His humanity is part of the vulnerability of the Christmas story. God embodied and accepted the splendor and brokenness of our human condition. Oh, the wonder and beauty of this reality—God came as one of us.
This is advent: the anticipation of a coming reunion and a celebration of Him coming now to each of us. He meets us in our vulnerabilities. He is in all our unknowns and uncertainties. He is in our brokenness and pain. He is in our joys and victories. We are perpetually in an Advent season—waiting for the ultimate coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and a present reality of the Spirit living in us.
Would you sit with me this Christmas season at the feet of the manger and wonder again about what it means to you and your family and your community that God came and took on our flesh, our vulnerabilities? He was carried in a mother’s womb. He ate at his mother’s breast, and He lived in our broken world.