04 Dec On The Incarnation and Light
(Hopefully) like you, I love the Christmas/Advent season! Besides all the ridiculous desserts available all the time at every turn, I love the decorations, I love the special parties and gatherings, I love the gift-giving, I love the music, but most of all, I really love the lights.
No matter where you live or what kind of home or apartment you have, Christmas lights just make everything look better and brighter and more beautiful. As a matter of fact, one thing that really moves my heart every year whenever I’m out and I see those lights is to think and pray, “Jesus, every one of these is for you.”
Christmas “light” just upgrades every dwelling and makes every place seem safer and warmer.
And I think it’s the same way with the human heart when it embraces the “light” of Christmas in the person of Jesus. The human heart is brightened; the human heart is more beautiful when it shines a light greater than and beyond itself. So how can we, as Christ followers, lean into that a little more?
I would encourage you, this Advent season, to daily take some time to reflect on that light.
One of my favorite ways to do that each year is to go through a particular devotional I have come to savor, from the publishers at “He Reads Truth/She Reads Truth”. They do a great job each year creating artistically beautiful and spiritually meaningful Advent devotionals focused around Scripture. These pages, photographs, and artwork always move my heart to open it more and more to the light of the world, Jesus.
Our family also typically works our way through an Advent calendar together (Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping the Greatest Gift is a modern classic for families, with great illustrations and lovely prose for children to grasp how every story in the Bible points to the person of Christ).
These moments both alone and together, whether you have them in a family setting, with a roommate, or with your community group are vital for Christian living and discipleship and here’s why: they keep alive an often-all-too-often-neglected element in any Protestant Church: a healthy dose of wonder and mysticism.
How did God become a baby, exactly?
You’re saying God took on flesh and skin?
How come that’s hard to fully grasp?
What does that even mean?
When we reflect on the Incarnation (God come to the world as human), pangs of wonder and shoots of the unknown and even unknowable penetrate our science-shaped minds and data-driven world.
At the heart of our faith is a beautiful, wonderful, reasonable-but-hard-to-grasp mystery:
The God who made light has come into our world as a kind of light, to bring it light.
And for that, I am grateful.