And so it was that while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Reflecting on the Incarnation and the birth of Christ, the Reformer Martin Luther says in awe of it all: “What man, left to his natural promptings, if he were God, would humble himself to lie in the feed box of a donkey or hang upon a cross. Yet God laid upon Christ the iniquities of us all. This is that ineffable and infinite mercy of God that man’s heart cannot fully comprehend—that unfathomable depth of God’s burning zeal and love for us.”
So deep and profound is God’s love for us that He sent his only begotten Son. Jesus entered the world in the most humble of fashions, a very astonishing way for a king indeed. It is in such a tangible way that He demonstrates his love for us, coming to meet us no matter how low or broken one’s life may be, He is there to meet us right where we are.
We were touched by some of Luther’s reflections when we attended the celebration of the Reformation last year and were reminded of some of those things this year when we attended “A Colonial Christmas” with some good friends, a dinner portraying Christmas in the early American Colonies. It was reformed believers who made their way to these shores early on to be able to worship freely.
Christ was born in a manger, demonstrated the Love of the father in acts of healing, mercy and compassion, and then took on all our iniquities at the cross that we might have eternal life. He freely bestows life eternal to those that simply just believe upon Him, it is a free gift.
We are ever thankful for that free gift and the mercy and compassion He has shown us as well as for the privilege of being used by Him to see others touched by His grace, love, and power!
We pray that His mercy, love, and compassion, may fill you afresh this Christmas. May the true Spirit of Christmas, the Holy Spirit, renew us all in the joy given us through Jesus!
God Bless and Merry CHRISTmas!
Bryan, Mercedes and Patrick Marleaux