We all have that experience when we try so hard to remember what happened at one particular moment in our week. We scramble, flipping our minds inside out just to recount one precious memory. It is hard to remember things that have happened a month ago, it is even harder if it was a year ago, rewind, flashback to ten years ago.
Can we even remember what we ate for lunch on our 15th birthday? I guess not. Not unless we documented it, took a picture of the smoke as it touched your baby brother’s/sister’s face right after you blew your candles, framed and frozen in time. After doing so, we can then live our lives normally, forgetting what happened (intentionally or unintentionally) until the day comes when we visit our old albums and again, try to remember what happened.
Something did occur long ago that historians, theologians and similar scholars tried and are still constantly trying to make sense of, always looking for a way to freeze the frame that is the birth of Jesus Christ, the only begotten of God. Always coming short, but who could blame them? How can something so active be stopped? How can something so hot be frozen? Eternal warmth cannot be chilled and God’s love endures forever.
Two thousand years ago, God, in all his godly singularity, hatched a plan which he had already set into motion thousands of years before. God, in his contempt against sin and his all-consuming love for mankind, was born. The plan to save mankind was for him to be born, the one who was before everything. Two thousand years ago God was born.
Humans are akin to sin. I cannot say that the people living today are a much better breed than the ones that have lived yesterday. The people in the time of Noah are as wicked as the people in the time of Abraham, are as wicked as the people in World War 2 and as wicked as people today. Alone, we are not immune to the urges of sin, we never were and we never will be.
There are things other than love upon which to thrive and that was the case yesterday that is the case today and tomorrow. Herod killed all the toddlers of Bethlehem two thousand years ago, and a gunman shot 20 preschool student recently in the U.S. There will be stealing and lying and arguing and bickering and fighting and wars and crying, especially crying. All of these are because of the brokenness that each and every one of us has. And God knows that we are broken, God knows that we cannot do it on our own, He knows that ours is constant failure and in His presence, is true and lasting success.
So God was born. He wasn’t born to make sure that stealing would never happen again but to ensure that what was stolen will be restored. He wasn’t born so that no one will ever lie but for us to mend relationships that are torn apart by lies. He wasn’t born so that there wouldn’t be arguing and bickering and fighting and wars but for people to resolve their differences. He wasn’t born so that people would no longer cry (though there will be a time where he will do that in his second coming), God is not a cruel God and crying is not a cruel thing, he was born so that when we cry he will be there crying with us.
The Father sent his Son Jesus Christ to the earth, foremost out of love and by knowing and believing in Him, we no longer have to be afraid of what comes after our physical death. God sent His Son because He loves us, not because He took pity on us. He sent his Son as an example of a relationship with Him, out of Love. He wanted us to enjoy him, and to enjoy him we first must see what it is to be joyful about. The infinite rejoicing of the angels when we first accept God was first witnessed by a group of shepherd when Christ was born.
Christmas is a season of remembrance, a season where we try to be extra generous (because we already are generous enough :P), we buy gifts for loved ones in remembrance of the one who bought us life with his own life. Christmas marks the birth of our everlasting companion, who walks with us, runs the race with us, urges us to finish, sits down with us in our direst needs and cries with us in the saddest corners of our hearts always assuring and reassuring us not with empty promises but with filled ones, saying ‘bad’ is never as bad as bad might be, even when it’s very bad indeed.
I cannot hope to understand the fullness of what He did for me, what he did for you. But I know that whatever I write about, whatever the other scholars learned about, it will never be able to describe the whole story as befits our God. That’s why he already wrote us a Book, the Bible, that tells us exactly what we need, and indeed it is all that we need. It was Christmas when Christ was born, God was born. Such a thing was hard to imagine, yet it sent shivers through me none the less when I first thought about it really carefully. A moment to shake every belief, when the world drew breath and. . . held it. As if birth alone signifies strength, hope, forgiveness and love eternal. And it sure did.