Blessed Christmas morning comes once more and all eyes turn to the manger, where lays a newborn baby boy - the Son of God made flesh for us.
Amid all the hushed whispers and coos, we all want to know what it is He has come for, what this baby boy is going to do.
We talk about how God promised us a Savior, the Savior of the world. And this is Him. But it didn't have to be. The God who created the world in a single breath could have saved it just the same way; by an act of His sheer will, He could have redeemed all Creation. He chose not to and sent His Son, but this is only a shadow of why this babe is here.
We talk about how God has come to heal us. And this is our Healer, this precious Boy. But it didn't have to be. The Gospels record full well that at just a word, a man can be healed; he doesn't have to also be touched. God could have spoken just the word and healed us. He chose not to and sent His Son, but this is only a shadow of why this babe is here.
We talk about how God desires to show us how to live. And this is our Example. But it didn't have to be. God who commands the spirits and calms the seas could speak with the same authority into our lives and guide our living. He chose not to and sent His Son, but this is only a shadow of why this babe is here.
There is only one thing this babe can do that God in all His power, authority, knowledge, and wisdom cannot; there is only one thing for which the Son of God, the Word made flesh is absolutely necessary, and it is this:
Only in flesh can He be our Friend.
God cannot will us to be His friend; He cannot will Himself to be ours. God cannot speak our friendship into existence. God cannot command our friendship. In order to be our friend, our all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing, all-creating God must be present here.
If you want to be my friend, you have to sit across the table from me. You have to laugh with me, cry with me, break bread with me. You have to know what I smell like after a long day's work, and you have to let me get familiar with all your little quirks. We have to know each other the way that lets us share inside jokes and hearty belly laughs. We have to be there for the big moments in each others' lives.
Like Christmas. In a barn. When You took Your first breath and cried out into the world, I am here.
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For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son....