A feeding trough, the sort of we think of when we read the Christmas story of the incarnation

Recapturing our awe of the incarnation

There is so much to be amazed by in the Bible. God’s mercy to Noah and his family, sparing them (and humanity as a whole) when he flooded the earth in judgment. God’s incredible patience to the Israelites in the wilderness. His pleas for his people to turn back from sin, to be spared the consequences that would await them.1

I could list dozens of other examples, but you have things to do today. But even if you had the whole list in front of you (which we can summarize as the entire Bible), you’d have the problem that we all face: we can fall prey to familiarity. Boredom, even. I find this happens a lot at Christmas, especially when we’ve tried to use or reuse Advent reading plans. We become so familiar with them that we lose our sense of wonder.

The magnificence of the incarnation

It’s hard to imagine that we can lose our sense of awe, of wonder, in something so incredible as the incarnation of Jesus. In news as good as we read in John 1:14:

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (CSB)

How do we lose that sense of wonder? Honestly, it’s by reading it too fast. By not sitting with it. By reading the verse too quickly, and glossing over what it says as a result.

But we should do our best to avoid this error, especially with news as incredible as the incarnation. I mean think about it: The Word became flesh. The Word who was with God and was God in the beginning (John 1:1). Through whom all things were created. The light of the world, who brings salvation to all who believe in his name. Jesus, God the Son, would take upon human flesh is simply mind-boggling.

  • The omnipresent became present.
  • The infinite would become finite.
  • The invisible became visible.

And what’s more, he dwelt among us. Literally, Jesus “pitched his tent” among his people, calling us back to the days of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. There, in his tent, God dwelt among the people, though he could not be seen by them. But Jesus, the Word made flesh, could be seen and could be touched.

The only Son. Unique and one-of-a-kind. Exactly like the Father in all of his attributes. He became one of us. To live with us, and eventually, to die for us.

Recapturing our sense of wonder

We like to focus on the incarnation at Christmastime. And that’s a good thing. We should spend a lot of time considering this amazing truth. But we can also become almost too familiar with it, to the point of neglecting its majesty.

Let’s reject that temptation. Instead, let’s let our jaws drop as we really think about what John wrote about Jesus. Doing that starts by slowing down.

Photo by Greyson Joralemon on Unsplash

  1. Ezekiel 33:11 is mind-blowing, y’all. ↩︎
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