We travel this life talking to, relying on and trusting God, but the thought of actually meeting Him face to face is often inconceivable. God loves us so much that He took on human flesh – went through the trauma of passing through the birth canal – was born of a woman, but conceived by God Himself. He was born in the usual way so that He could experience the entire human condition. He walked through life, worked, ached physically, hands calloused, temptations placed before Him, wept, got angry and felt every emotion we feel. He was indeed a man, but also God.
Imagine Mary and Joseph as they tended the little newborn baby boy. What must have been going through their minds? Here was the fulfillment of the prophets of old – the Messiah they had waited for – a king, but yet a humble man. Encased in this mortal body, was a sinless heart. As He meekly suffered pain and death He carried the sins of the world on His shoulders.
Had He not been born, suffered and died, God would been hidden from man forever. On that Christmas morning, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds were witness to the actual face of God. Later the Magi and others would see Him too. What a miracle! What joy! Peace came to earth in that lowly baby, Jesus.
We sang this hymn on Christmas Eve and it beautifully talks about the wonder of that first Christmas
PEACE CAME TO EARTH BY Jaroslav J. Vajda
Peace came to earth at last that chosen night
When angels clove the sky with song and light
And God embodied love and sheathed his might,
Who could but gasp, Immanuel
Who could but sing, Immanuel.
And who could be the same for having held
The infant in their arms and later felt
The wounded hands and side, all doubts dispelled,
Who could but sigh, Immanuel
Who could but shout, Immanuel
You show the Father none has ever seen,
In flesh and blood you bore our griefs and pain
In bread and wine you visit us again
Who could but see, Immanuel
Who could but thrill, Immanuel
How else could I have known you, O my God!
How else could I have loved you, O my God!
How else could I embrace you, O my God!
Who could but pray, Immanuel
Who could but praise, Immanuel
Christmas has come and gone, but let the thought of God with us – Immanuel – remain in our hearts forever. He alone brings us true peace.