Veiled In Flesh

mother-holding-babyStaring into the face of her tiny newborn she simply could not believe it.

A gift from the Almighty God dropped into her womb in an unprecedented miracle. God’s Son.

No one could believe it.

Even Joseph had struggled so to wrap his mind around it, that a dream from the Father was required just to free him from his doubts.

Nothing like this had ever happened before.

Mary gently stroked the flushed cheek of her little boy and pondered–something she would do often in her life as the Mother of this unique Son. (Luke 2:19)

Here in the barn, with the scents and sights of life at its earthiest, she held a tiny piece of heaven.

The God who could not be contained by boundless space and endless galaxies now wrapped in cloths and sleeping in a mother’s arms.

She shook her head. How could it be?

  • This tiny hand that gripped her finger held creation in its palm.
  • This baby who drew the milk of life at her breast was the source of life for every being.
  • This infant who could form no sounds but coos and gurgles was the living Word expressing the loving heart of The Father.

But He was so like any infant born on any silent night.

Fascinating. Finite. Fragile.

Just like every other baby. And that was the point.

He had to be.

Because in this world where people feel the pain of unmet need and perplexity of unanswered questions, Jesus had to be susceptible to those same sorrows.

A broken world that randomly doles out shame, separation and struggle requires a Savior who is thoroughly immersed in that same reality.

Intimate with its agonies. Familiar with its sufferings.

Just like us.

“For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:17)

The most extraordinary part of the Nativity is that it was so unspectacular, unremarkable, unpretentious, uneventful.

  • A night like every other night.
  • A baby like every other baby.
  • A birth like every other birth.

That is what strikes awe in the hearts of any person who will truly face the radical normalcy of Bethlehem, the stable, the manger, the swaddling clothes. And…

…the Baby.

It is precisely the fact that Jesus came as we all do, through the rough and tumble initiation of labor and delivery, that makes this utterly ordinary night one that the entire world pauses to remember.

God burst into our real world as a real baby. He cried, spit up and made messes. Mary agonized with contractions and Joseph paced with the best of expectant Dads.

Just like us.

Yet immeasurably different.

“Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see.”

Unlike us, this was God entering the world to salvage what He loved so much that He found no extremity too great to endure.

Eternity squeezed into time. Omnipotence constricted in a mother’s womb. God in skin and bones.

This child born that night was “pleased, as man, with men to dwell”.

Like us. With us. As us. For us.

All so that one day He could be in us and through us transform that Silent Night into one that would shape lives and shake history.

But on that night Mary, like every other mother in all of history, held a baby–a baby like every other baby in all of history. Yet through the flesh in which He was veiled, she saw God.

And worshiped.

*********************

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and Seraphim
Thronged the air –
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshiped the Beloved
With a mother’s kiss.
-In The Bleak Midwinter, Christina Rossetti

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