At church recently the pastor, who also happens to be my dad, has been taking us through the Gospel of John. As providence would have it, yesterday we studied John 1:14, which is very appropriate for the season. It says, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The Word that this verse speaks about is Jesus Christ.
Being my first Christmas season as a father, I’ve been thinking more than in past years about how amazing that verse really is. The Word became flesh. God became a person; a person in every sense. He started out in this world just like we all do, as a helpless baby. When you’re the parent of a baby you really get a greater understanding of what this means. Before Lily was born the knowledge that I was 100% responsible for her survival was a terifying thought. Babies have to have everything done for them. They can’t eat on their own, they can’t shelter themselves, they can’t even sleep right if not properly taken care of. After almost a year of parenthood now, the terror has subsided and I feel confident that we can make it to year two. But in this first year, having seen first hand how dependent a baby is on it’s parents, and thinking about Christmas in those terms, the fact of And the Word became flesh is an even greater miracle than I originally realized.
God became a man, first as a child. He needed to be fed, He cried, He felt pain, He needed his mother to dress him, He had to learn how to interact with people and His environment. As I watch Lily go from being able to hold her head up, to rolling over, to crawling, to standing, and making all kinds of exciting discoveries–like what that little piece of dirt on the floor tastes like and what happens when she slams her fingers in a cupboard door–I realize that Jesus as a baby went through the exact same thing. Let me be even more frank; Jesus Christ, the God of the universe who spoke the world into existance, the savior of all mankind who calmed the storm with the mere sound of his voice and healed the lame, had to have his poopy diapers changed. If that didn’t just blow your mind, you either need to check your pulse or get yourself right with God. It doesn’t get any more humbling than having someone else clean you up after you’ve soiled yourself. God the Son left the glory of the Father for that.
And why did He do it? The line that follows the title of this post in the great Christmas carol tells us, “Born that man no more may die. Born to raise the Sons of Earth. Born to give them second birth.” Glory to the newborn King indeed.