Monday, December 6, 2010

The Other Side Of The Incarnation

Jesus became a human. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We celebrate this at Christmas, and although we know it is true, it still blows us away when we try to ponder exactly what it means. God became a man, while maintaining His Deity.

We celebrate Jesus coming to us and we should. However, have you ever thought about what it meant for Him to leave His home? I never did until I went to the mission field. We are overwhelmed at His coming, but how did Heaven feel about His leaving?

When we knew we were going to Bolivia, we began the process of saying goodbye. It was a process because it did not just happen. We said good bye to different groups of people, to various layers of relationships, at different times. From coffee and informal meetings, a going away party at our church, to the tear-filled hugging of Denise’s parents at the airport, saying good bye hurt. We knew we were in the plan of the Father. We knew that it was best. We knew that our lives were going to impact others. We knew that through the pain, good would come. It still stunk. It really, seriously stunk.

Think about what we experienced on our human level. We have imperfect relationships. We live in a fallen world full of pain and sorrow. We leave for school, get married, take jobs in other locations, and die. Good bye is a part of the fabric of our lives. We say good bye constantly.

Jesus never did. He was omnipresent. He was fully present. For all of eternity He had been in the perfect world with the relationship of the Trinity. Good bye was not part of His vocabulary nor His experience. He NEVER left the presence of His home. His family, His Father, the angels, and all of creation were always there. Death was not part of His life. He never had to leave to go somewhere else.

Then, that moment before the conception…that immeasurable microsecond of time when the Word said something He had never said before…”Good bye”. Can you imagine what I was like to leave? What Jesus did for us! He left perfection. He left heaven. He left the angels. He left His worship. He left His Father. He left His home. He gave up His throne. He gave up His omnipresence. He gave up His….I cannot even imagine the list. Christmas was not just Jesus coming into the world, it was Him leaving the Heavens.

This Christmas, take a pause in your shopping, spending, driving, eating, and wrapping and try to meditate, not on the first Noel, but on the first Goodbye.

Wow! God loves you so much!

Merry Christmas!


Sabrina O'Malone said...

Well said Joe. I'd never thought about it in such detail before. Amazing...will continue to ponder this and will share your musings with my friends and family this Christmas. Thanks!

Andrea said...

I never thought about that aspect before. Thanks Joe for the great thought today, and say hello to your family!

Andrea Denner