God became a man!

December 21, 2007

"Anyone contemplating the life of Jesus needs to be newly and more deeply aware every day that something scandalous has occurred: that God, in His absolute being, has resolved to manifest Himself in a human life. He must be scandalized by this, he must feel his mind reeling, the very ground giving way beneath his feet; he must at least experience that ‘ecstasy’ of non-comprehension which transported Jesus’ contemporaries (Mark 2:12, Mark 5:42, Mark 6:51)." - Hans Urs von Balthasar

The phrase I always heard growing up around Christmas time was "Jesus is the reason for the season". Amidst the gift giving and turkeys (or lasagna if you're in my family) I've always taken just a little time to reflect on that little baby lying in a manger - whether it be at church on Christmas eve or for a few moments before opening presents on Christmas morning.

But I often wonder how different my life would be if I truly understood in my heart what I was pondering all of those years.

The mystery of God becoming a man is unfathomable. How does the eternal, immeasurable God fit inside of a little 18" human frame and not blow it up? What was it like for Mary to tell God the Genesis 1 creation story? What was it like for God to work, sweat, smell, and have to shower?

The incarnation is not just doctrine, but it is the object of contemplation. Paul calls it a "great" mystery (1 Timothy 3:16). Angels long to understand it but are continually baffled (1 Peter 1:12). Only God Himself would have thought of such a plan! What was going through the mind of the Trinity from eternity past when this plan was devised?

We've robbed ourselves for far too long of the "ecstasy of non-comprehension"!

To ponder what cannot be fully fathomed is indeed true joy.

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