Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:29-33
We know the scene well: a quaint stable housing a few sheep, a gentle cow, a tired donkey and of course, baby Jesus. Jesus is a baby, sweet and little; he is the King come to earth! Perhaps the little coos and grins associated with a tiny infant are some of the reasons Christmas feels so charming and beloved among Christians.
How often, though, do we look at the babe in the manger and simply say, “God.” Because that’s not just a perfect little human with a majestic future before him, folks. That baby is God! God who is, who was, and who will be. God, the creator of the universe! God, the almighty Lord. God, who humbled himself so greatly that he became one of us in our most helpless and weak state. The Lord of the universe had to learn how to crawl! He relied on his mother for nourishment, he spit up, he cried, he slowly took his first steps, he learned how to speak. God became a baby.
And I cannot think of a more powerful and yet beautiful truth: that the One who created all life became the humblest of humans to save his own people who had betrayed him and brought on a messed up world. This is not made up! No one would ever craft a story where the superhero takes on the most lowly of states to save people. But that is the power and love of our God. It is so real, and so loving. He did it for you, and me.