Christmas is a joke. Why do I think that? I know it’s a widely celebrated and loved holiday. I do think Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and yet I still think it’s a joke. To think that the creator of the universe, the almighty, all powerful, omniscient God became a helpless baby is laughable.
Think of a baby, it can’t take care of itself. It’s totally dependent upon it’s parents for everything. Babies need to be fed every few hours and diapers changed just as often. A baby cannot do anything for itself. It can’t talk or walk, it’s completely helpless.
Christians talk about God being able to do anything and yet, he became someone who could do nothing. The one whom we call on to take care of us became someone who had to be taken care of. How ironic! Maybe that’s the point. Despite how ridiculous this looks, it really happened. It’s not a joke even though it seems to be one. God works in unexpected ways. Ways that confound us humans. So really the joke is on us. If we can believe it.
I became aware of the ridiculousness of God becoming a baby,when I was pregnant with my oldest. I felt very close to Mary at the start of the Advent season, since I was 8 ½ months pregnant. When I listened to the nativity story, I understood how Mary would have felt physically as she traveled to Bethlehem. Fat and tired! And hopefully Joseph had patience for her frequent stops to the bathroom as they traveled.
As we celebrated Christmas with our new addition, I imagined Mary taking care of her son. She fed Jesus, she nursed him, she watched him sleep, she comforted him when he cried, she changed his diaper. All those things mothers do for their infant children. I’m sure she was tired and a bit cranky too, since interrupted sleep affects everyone. I felt overwhelmed and inadequate caring for my newborn, and yet I was not. I was enough and exactly what he needed. Just like Mary was for Jesus.
I looked at the sleeping child lying in my arms and wondered what the future holds. Wondered how my child will turn out. Wondered what he will like or dislike. I’m sure Mary was no different. Especially knowing this wasGod’s son. He was special and yet so ordinary. He needed to eat, sleep and grow. He learned to walk and talk, learned to use the potty. He ate and played.He exasperated Mary with dropping things, you know the game all toddlers play.There was nothing extraordinary about his childhood. I’m guessing that is why we don’t hear much about him growing up. He went through puberty. His voice changed. He became a carpenter.
All these very ordinary human things happened to Jesus, the creator of the universe. He became human, one of us, Emmanuel, which means God with us. We’ll explore what this ridiculous truth means for us in the next three weeks.
But for now, contemplate the irony of the almighty, all powerful God becoming helpless, in the form of a baby.
What are your thoughts?