Her (Mary’s) Son first had to be the Child of the Father in order then to become man and be capable of taking up on his shoulders the burden of a guilty world.”   Hans Urs von Balthasar

But as flawed humans, we give only a vague hint of God. Our broken reflection of God’s image is easily drowned out by our broken humanity. then, two thousand years ago, God came in his fullness. He came to all of us in Jesus. The incarnation is not owned, trademarked, or controlled by any church. It belongs to every human being. The incarnation is not something that requires a distributor or middleman. It is a gracious gift to every person everywhere, religious or not. God gave himself to us in Jesus.   Michael Spencer, Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality

The incarnation is “a kind of vast joke whereby the Creator of the ends of the earth comes among us in diapers… Until we too have taken the idea of the God-man seriously enough to be scandalized by it, we have not taken it as seriously as it demands to be taken.   Frederick Buechner

The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity – hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory – because at the Father’s will Jesus became poor, and was born in a stable so that thirty years later He might hang on a cross.   J.I. Packer

If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: “God with us.” We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!   John MacArthur

The body of the Word, then, being a real human body, in spite of its having been uniquely formed from a virgin, was of itself mortal and, like other bodies, liable to death. But the indwelling of the Word loosed it from this natural liability, so that corruption could not touch it. Thus is happened that two opposite marvels took place at once: the death of all was consummated in the Lord’s body; yet, because the Word was in it, death and corruption were in the same act utterly abolished.   Athanasius of Alexandria, On the Incarnation

Mary thus learns that the Most High has ever borne a Son in his bosom, and that this Son has now chosen her bosom as dwelling-place.   Hans Urs von Balthasar, Unless You Become Like This Child

The Lord did not come to make a display. He came to heal and to teach suffering men. For one who wanted to make a display the thing would have been just to appear and dazzle the beholders. But for Him Who came to heal and to teach the way was not merely to dwell here, but to put Himself at the disposal of those who needed Him, and to be manifested according as they could bear it, not vitiating the value of the Divine appearing by exceeding their capacity to receive it.   Athanasius of Alexandria, On the Incarnation

For the Lord touched all parts of creation, and freed and undeceived them all from every deceit.  Athanasius of Alexandria

All we could ever imagine, could ever hope for, He is… He is the Prince of Peace whose first coming has already transformed society but whose second coming will forever establish justice and righteousness. All this, and infinitely more, alive in an impoverished baby in a barn. That is what Christmas means – to find in a place where you would least expect to find anything you want, everything you could ever want.   Michael Card

Here’s a side to the Christmas story that isn’t often told: Those soft little hands, fashioned by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb, were made so that nails might be driven through them. Those baby feet, pink and unable to walk, would one day walk up a dusty hill to be nailed to a cross. That sweet infant’s head with sparkling eyes and eager mouth was formed so that someday men might force a crown of thorns onto it. That tender body, warm and soft, wrapped in swaddling clothes, would one day be ripped open by a spear. Jesus was born to die.   John MacArthur

God in Christ has taken into Himself the brokenness of the human condition. Hence, human woundedness, brokenness, death itself are transformed from dead ends to doorways into Life. In the divinizing humanity of Christ, bruises become balm.   Martin Laird

Action is always superior to speech in the Gospels, which is why the Word became flesh and not newsprint.    Colin M. Morris

This Lord of natures today was transformed contrary to His nature;  it is not too difficult for us to also overthrow our evil will.  Hymns of the Nativity, Hymn 1:97, pg. 74 in Ephrem the Syrian: Hymns (New York: Paulist Press, 1989).

 

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