What happened at Christmas was more than a birth. It was the union of God and man “without confusion, change, division or separation,” (Chalcedon Creed). It was “God and man . . . the substance of the Father begotten before the worlds, (and) the substance of his Mother, born in the world; perfect God and perfect Man,” (Athanasian Creed). The shepherds, the baby and the wise men are what we remember. But this is what makes us think. This is bigger than the story. In the incarnation God begins to unite two previously divided entities. He not only comes “down” to earth (He becomes like us), He also takes earth “up” into the heavens (we become like God). He not only reveals the Father to the sons; He also reconciles the sons to their Father (John 1:12). Christmas is the story, but the incarnation is the plot because it is larger and more mystical, deeper and dynamic. Christmas happened, but the incarnation is still happening all throughout the New Testament and even today. If we forget this, as we’re prone to do, we’ll lose the plot in the story; we’ll lose the incarnation in, of all places, Christmas.
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