Jon Bloom, “Lay Aside the Weight of Christmas Expectations.” Desiring God
Christmas for Christians is a celebration of the Incarnation, that wonderful, impenetrable, mysterious moment when the Word who spoke all things into being (John 1:3) and held them all together by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3) became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). When YHWH “for a little while was made lower than the angels” (Hebrews 2:9). When he who knew no sin entered the world as a bloody infant to become sin for us on a bloody cross that we might become the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Charles Wesley “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see;
hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Athanasius of Alexandria,
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.
Augustine of Hippo
He was created of a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy. He, the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.
The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.
Jesus was God and man in one person, that God and man might be happy together again.
There were only a few shepherds at the first Bethlehem. The ox and the donkey understood more of the first Christmas than the high priests in Jerusalem. And it is the same today.
When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?
Infinite, and an infant. Eternal, and yet born of a woman. Almighty, and yet hanging on a woman’s breast. Supporting a universe, and yet needing to be carried in a mother’s arms. King of angels, and yet the reputed son of Joseph. Heir of all things, and yet the carpenter’s despised son.
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!