The Christ Child

Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard van Honthorst, 1622
At Christmastime we are surrounded by images and tradition. They can become so familiar they fade into a warm and fuzzy background to the events we enjoy. Commonplace narratives can dim in their meaning to us, without conscious reflection.

To the uncommitted, the baby Jesus is a vague, comfortable notion of religiosity and familial feeling. A Christmas card Jesus makes no demands of us. If anyone today, in the larger secularized world, even cares about the Christ, they prefer a benign controllable symbol.

There is nothing wrong with pleasant and agreeable perceptions of Christmas. It is a wonderful time to enjoy. The reality of the birth of Jesus Christ, however, is in stark contrast to the simple ideas that barely capture our attention.

The sublime reality of the Incarnation is no mere Christmas card. The very Son of God was born into history–true, living, breathing history. He came into our world, fully human yet divine. God sent His Son to the humblest circumstance, to simple people as a baby. Yet, He is fully God, Emmanuel, God with Us. This child is our glorious Lord.

While marvelously true, the reason He came is so full of intentional foreknowledge it was foretold hundreds of years before in specificity. Jesus came for a purpose, not ambiguous abstract faith that asks nothing of us. The Christ came to save us from our sins. As wonderful as the Christ child is, we must remember He is not frozen in time as a child, with no relevance beyond this point. Jesus came for a determined reason. He lived a perfect life we could not, died for our sins, and rose again.

When we contemplate Christmas and the hope of its meaning, we cannot do so without knowing who this Christ is and our vital need for Him. Let us reflect on the transcendent holiness of the Son of God, brought near to our human frailty.

We need a Savior. Christ is born. O come let us adore Him.

"She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21.

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form. Colossians 2:9-10.

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