The 12 blogs of Christmas #11: Welcome

We step into a house with a newborn like we’re stepping into a bubble, in breathless wonder. Babies are so easy to welcome. So disarming, so nonthreatening.

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My sweet little nephew Matthew

So unifying, because we all started out like that—as a trembling, mewling newborn. Utterly, almost frighteningly, dependent.All of us: President Obama. The artist/athlete/superstar you like. That guy from Duck Dynasty.  The person who drives you nuts. At the start we’re the same,  same, same. Human.

Only a human gets another human. My dog doesn’t totally get me. My Christmas tree doesn’t get me, neither do the glorious stars or a sunset or the birds flying overhead.

Only humanity can empathize with humanity.

And so God came down.

Entered like everyone else. He got hungry. He got hurt. He was tempted. He got weary. He wept. He laughed. He mourned. He became (righteously) angry.
God became human. While holding on to his God-ness. He was both.

This is very strange. This could only be driven by love.

Here is religion: Look at me! Over here, God! Look at what I can do! Look at how much I give! Pray! Am I good enough? Does the good on my scale out weigh the bad? Am I following the right rules? Am I saying the right words? I’m trying, I’ll keep trying.. to reach you… I’ll keep hoping I’m doing enough….

Here is Jesus: I will come to you. Out of everything I made, I love you best of all. And I know you can’t reach me on your own. All that stuff, that bad stuff, that mess you and the rest of the world made and will continue to make, I’ll take care of that. That stands in the way of you and God. So I’ll clean it up once and for all. I’ll step in and be the bridge in the form of a cross the leads to my death that leads to your life. That brings us back together. You and me. We’ll be reconciled. So stop trying, I’ve done the work. Rest in the work I’ve done and let me do a work in you.

You know when you’re really sick and someone brings a meal? or takes your kids? or cleans your kitchen? You know that feeling you get inside, you kind of crumple in gratitude, because someone has stepped in and helped and you sigh and realize it is going to be okay?

That’s the feeling I hope you get this Christmas. That sigh of relief and gratitude, that Oh hooray! He’s here! You saw the mess, God. The need, and you stepped in because we needed saving. I hope that swells up inside of you and you enjoy the presents and the food and the coffee and the friends all the more. And if your Christmas isn’t marked by presents/food/coffee/friends/warm fuzzy moments, I hope His presence is more than enough and you can say Welcome, Savior. Welcome.

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