A Todd Agnew YouTube video challenged me about that, though. He pointed out that the wise men spent a lot of preparation time getting ready to come and see a king. They gathered their finest gifts and traveled a long, long way so they could see this king. And when they arrived, they found more than they’d ever dreamed of. In Todd’s words,
We’ve traveled far
come to seek a king
but how could we know
that He would be
God with us?
He said God challenged him and asked, “Are YOU prepared for Christmas?” This happened long before Christmas. Not in the sense of physical, like gifts or decorations or lights or cards, but in the sense of the heart. Have you thought about this? God, becoming human? The Eternal One climbing on the merry-go-round of time – and not as someone powerful, but as a baby. A helpless baby. A baby who can’t even walk.
Imagine it! Silent night, Holy night, all is calm, all is bright, round yon virgin, mother and child… holy infant, so tender and mild… and the holy infant is the Ancient of Days! The same God who spoke and said “let there be light” and there was light – that God – now sleeps in a dark stable, in a stone feeding trough, in the form of a little baby.
Hit the pause button. Think about that for a minute! Discard your pre-acceptance of the idea that God became a man. Don’t say it so fast. Look at the baby in that manger. Hear him cry. See him flail. This isn’t a cutesy manger scene. This is a real baby, and at the same time, this is Emmanuel. This is God with us. I know it feels like I’m over-killing my point. “Yeah, Dave, I know. Jesus was God with us. That’s what Emmanuel means.”
But look! The Eternal One wears time. The Creator of all mankind becomes one of mankind. The Omnipotent possesses only a child’s mind. The God who made manna in the wilderness is unable to even eat solid food of any kind, let alone will it into existence. The All-Sufficient Provider becomes dependent on a mother to feed Him. The Shield and Defender is helpless, and His very life depends upon a carpenter’s obedience to an angel who says to go to Egypt. Omnipotence becomes powerless.
God came a longer distance than the wise men, and gave so much more. He became God with us. Whatever preparation we humans do, we will always peer over the side of the manger and our jaws will drop. The humble infant there is the King of the Universe.
Are you ready for Christmas?