This Christmas I have been meditating on the reality of the humanity of Jesus.
There are carols that applaud the coming of Christ Jesus as a babe. Artists painted glorious images of what they imagined the moment of the manger to be, and they show us a babe all peaceful, with halo, perfectly formed.
One carol has the line it, “the little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.”
The truth is there is very little out there that gives us the image of Jesus being a baby like any other baby. You know, the kind those of us who are parents had. The kind that cries when they mess their diapers, have gas, can’t sleep, get hungry or want affection.
There is a quote I recently was reminded of when I read Noel Pipers post on the Desiring God blog. It comes from the classic story, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
A church allowed poor, rough cut, uneducated children to participate in their Christmas play. Real down to earth children without pretension and no idea of how to put on a good face. I am using excerpts from pages 73-74
Imogene had the baby doll but she wasn't carrying it in the way she was supposed to, cradled in her arms. She had it slung up over her shoulder, and before she put it in the manger she thumped it twice on the back.
I heard Alice gasp and she poked me. "I don't think it's very nice to burp the baby Jesus," she whispered, "as if he had colic." Then she poked me again. "Do you suppose he could have had colic?"
I said, "I don't know why not," and I didn't. He could have had colic, or been fussy, or hungry like any other baby. After all, that was the whole point of Jesus—that he didn't come down on a cloud like something out of "Amazing Comics," but that he was born and lived...a real person.
When we allow Christmas to be an idealized, sanitized, and polished up portrait of the coming of Christ as a babe, we do a disservice to the whole idea of the Incarnation.
About The Author
- Tim Atchley
- Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
- I currently serve as Senior Pastor of Harvest Church in Knoxville, Tn. I was sent out from Trinity Chapel of Knoxville in 1993 accompanied by my wife Sheila our four children Sarah, Hannah, Josiah & Isaac and a handful of bold, brave and committed believers determined to plant our first church. Pioneering is hard work but well worth the journey. That is why we desire to make disciples of Christ who will, like us, also embrace the call to plant churches.