A week or two ago I was looking at some pictures my daughter, Anna, took of my son, Isaac. There is one shot in particular that really touches me. I’m not sure if it’s the outstanding photography (in my opinion) or Isaac’s eyes or that I simply know and love both the photographer and the subject. Whatever it is, I am drawn into the photograph. Or maybe a better way of saying it is that I’m “grabbed” by the photo. When I look at that particular shot, I end up staring at it for several minutes mesmerized by the beauty and wonder of the picture, of life, and of the relationship that I have with my family.
Such wonder surrounds the season of Christmas as well, or at least it should. It is a wonder-ful thing to be brought back year after year to the unfolding story of light entering darkness as we remember again the miracle of the incarnation of God. This year as I have been contemplating this gracious condescension I am struck anew with the amazing love the infinite God has for us that He would surrender glory to take on flesh. “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:5-7).
I imagine that there were times (and are times) that the Father looked upon Jesus and was just struck with His eyes and His manner of life and His obedience and just stared at him mesmerized by the wonder of His Son. Through the incarnation we too are invited to be caught up in this amazing relationship of Father and Son and the opening of the divine relationship that we too are embraced as children of God. Because of Christ’s incarnation those who receive Him are drawn into this relationship and we get to experience God’s loving gaze without fear, without shame.
In Colossians 2:9 Paul wrote, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” and this wonder we celebrate as we look toward His Advent again this Christmas season. In celebrating the incarnation, we are likewise called to embody the same great, gracious love that Christ demonstrated. This year I pray that we will all be so caught up in the wonder of God’s love in Christ that we will bless friend and acquaintance, family member and stranger with the kindness and compassion, love and joy given in Christ Jesus our Lord.