He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

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Friday, December 25, 2009 

From the Trough to the Pole...Merry Christmas

"He came to be humbled. He came to die.

Plan the event. Arrange the reception. The King of kings is coming. He will shoulder governments. He will be called the Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor.

Plato, no covering your eyes, no throwing up in indignation, no offended boycotts of the crucifix set in urine. The Lord of all reality is coming to your hemisphere. And He, the pure Spirit, will take on flesh & need to eat & breathe & move His bowels, & have his diaper changed.

Don't look at me. I had plenty of glorious ideas. The blasphemy isn't mine.

He will be a carpenter, with splintered & blistered hands & cracking nails. One of His grandmothers was a whore of Jericho. He will enter the womb of virgin & expand in the normal way. He will exit her womb in the normal way. And then she will suckle Him as the cows do their calves. Because, well, He will be mammal.

These days, we dress the whole thing up & hum until it all seems holy. We set up little plastic scenes in our yards & then we backlight them.

If God is pleased, it is because they are trite & sill - entirely in keeping with the whole event.

The Lord came to clean the unclean. He brought the taint of Holiness, & it has been growing ever since. He was born in a barn & slept in a food trough...

The reversals in the story didn't stop at Christ's birth. Rather than being celebrated, one of the first plot elements was Herod's declaration of genocide. The King of kings is here, you say? Bathe the land in infant blood.

Slaughter, Rachel weeping for her children lost - these things are part of the Christmas story. For some reason, we leave the soldiers, dead babies, & weeping mothers out of the plastic figurine collection...

----

With whom did He sit & eat? Whores. Thieves. The unclean.

From birth to the end, He never left the trough. Christ walked from insult to insult, from filth to filth. Lepers. Prostitutes. Tax men. The Dead...

How would He conquer? When would He leave this path of uncleanness?

He came to be stripped naked. He came to be lashed. He came to have His beard ripped out & thorns rammed onto His head. He came to be mocked, to have His body pierced with rough-forged nails & a Roman spear. To be severed from His father & experience Hell as Adam - for man.

He came to live in the trough & die on a pole...

The Word has shown how far He can stoop. From the pole, He went into the ground. From the ground, He went deeper...beating out a path for those coming behind...

The whale did not spit Him up. He ripped the whale open. The stone was rolled away."


- N.D. Wilson, "Notes From the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World," excerpts from pgs. 191-195

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