The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light. Isaiah 9:2
To truly appreciate the great feast of the Nativity I feel we must reflect on the shocking truth that God cares that much about us that He would send His Only Begotten Son to share our humanity. Despite their wonderful understanding of God none of the early prophets or seers had a clear depiction of the incarnation that the Lord, “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” Phil 2:7
Christmas must be a startling reality that so great a God, Creator of the universe, would “empty” Himself to get close to us! We must double the amazement of the Psalmist: “What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care (visit pāqad) for him?” Ps 8:4 Until we realize how incredibly great God is we will never really comprehend how mind boggling Jesus’s incarnation really is.
Today’s astronomers with their wonderful instruments have looked into the depths of the astonishing greatness of the universe! The ancient astronomers were in awe of the greatness of the stars and planets but now with our telescopes we are overwhelmed by the size of the cosmos! This really gives us an extra jolt to our understanding of the Almighty “Who fills heaven and earth”! There are more than 200 billion galaxies in the universe. To get to the closest one Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy which is only 25, 000 light years away, it would take at our present Voyager’s speed at 35,000 MPH approximately 749 million years!
Can you or I grasp at all how tremendous God is? With the Psalmist we pray:” O Lord my God, You are very great;” Ps 104:1 The word for very great in Hebrew is meod which means exceeding. Such an amazing God would scare us to death. That is why He came to us “born of a woman”. He is as human as any of us except sin without the slightest diminishment of His Divinity. Jesus called himself the “Son of Man” some 81 times in the New Testament! He wanted to befriend us and be utterly close to us! He even shared our grief and suffering! Even now and forever His glorious body carries the wounds of the cross. He is truly one of us.
Greatness and Nearness of God is at the heart of Christmas!
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.