Christmas: Trying to Comprehend the Incomprehensible
God became flesh and lived among us.
God. The one who created all things. The one who spoke the universe into existence. The one who sustains and sovereignly reigns over all things. The eternal one. The all-knowing one. The all-powerful one. God.
God became a man and lived among us.
Have you ever tried, I mean really tried, to comprehend the incarnation? Have you ever seriously pondered the magnitude of what it means that God lived on earth? My plan this week was to try and put something on paper that would help explain this miracle, but there aren't words for something of this magnitude. There is nothing I can say that will help us truly get our minds around the fact that God lived on earth.
Each year during the Christmas season I spend several weeks wrestling with this glorious truth, and every year I come to the same conclusion, it's incomprehensible. Sure, I know the story, but each year I am reminded again of my inability to fully understand the depth of the Christmas story. But I continue to try. Each year I look forward to trying and I believe it’s an important effort. It is important for us think deeply about our God and His magnificent journey to earth on behalf of sinful men.
Right now we are in the thick of Christmas week. Most likely you are with family or traveling to be with family. You probably have plans for all sorts of Christmas traditions. I hope you enjoy the food, gifts, decorations and time with your family and friends. But I also hope you take time to slow down and meditate on the reality of Christmas. As I have already said, we will never fully understand it, but we must try.
Here are a few suggestions of ways to try:
Read the story: This sounds basic, but it’s so important, and so neglected. Take time over the next few days to read the story of Christmas. As you read, continue to remind yourself – this is not a fairy tale – this really happened. This is the story of God Himself coming to earth. Be amazed.
Read and meditate on other parts of Scripture that speak about the coming of Christ: Here are some of my favorites: John 1:1-18, Philippians 2:4-11, 1 John 1:1-2, Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7, 2 Corinthians 8:9. Read, meditate and be amazed.
Listen to Christmas music: This may sound odd, but I have found it to be very helpful. This time of year, everywhere you go there is music. The Christmas season has a soundtrack and much of the soundtrack contains thoughtful meditations on the true meaning of Christmas. Slow down and listen. Use the built-in soundtrack of the season to encourage your thoughts of God. Be amazed.
Have good conversations: As you try and wrap your mind around this glorious truth, don’t keep it to yourself. As you spend time with friends and family talk about God becoming a man. It doesn’t have to be formal, just talk. Talk around the table. As you lounge around the house, talk. As you look at Christmas lights talk. Talk about the unfathomable reality of God becoming man. Be amazed together.
Add whatever you can to this list: Do whatever you can to try and wrap your mind around God coming to earth. Keep trying. And when you realize that it is beyond comprehension, use that as a reminder to be amazed. And allow your amazement to lead to worship.
My prayer for all of us is that we would not allow this week to pass without having deep thoughts about God. We will never fully understand the magnitude of Christmas, but we must keep trying.
And next year we will try again. Merry Christmas.
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