God became a baby. Why? Jesus could have come as a fully grown man, a powerful conqueror ready to destroy evil and the evil ones, destined to establish a righteous kingdom of holy purity. But who would have been worthy to live in such a holy place? Could you? Would your presence ruin the holy, pure perfection of such a kingdom? None of us would be invited in. God can’t just give blanket forgiveness, as that would violate his holy righteousness. Yes, it would indeed be an empty kingdom.
Only God’s wrath destroys evil, sin, and impurity. But his wrath results in death. In our case, it would mean eternal existence without God. God would accept a substitute, but it must be someone who lived life without sin, who is still pure and righteous. Yet only God qualifies, so God must experience humanity, in all aspects: helpless, dependent, challenged, tempted, hurt, abandoned, rejected, disappointed, misunderstood, used, discouraged, tired, disillusioned, even questioning God.
- starting as a baby: helpless, completely dependent on others, mortality
- experiencing childhood: others letting you down, rejection from peers, life is unfair
- experiencing the teen years: fear of the future, awareness of body, sexual urges
- experiencing adulthood: responsibilities, death of dreams, growing older
So, why do it? It all comes down to love. God loves us so much that he was willing to experience being a human, perfectly, and then offering himself as our sacrifice for God’s wrath. That is the gift of Christmas, through a baby. Thank you, Holy One, for the gift of a special child. Amen.