Although it is already long past Christmas day, I don't plan to let the season go by without comment. It has been a good time for me, and a great ending to the secular year. I am spending the time with my family and preparing to take canonical exams for ordination next week. It has also been an exhausting time, and so I am not going to write a long post. Instead, I am just going to post two unrelated quotes that have been on my mind this Christmas season.
And then there is this little Gem from Karl Barth. It is not particularly about Christmas, but about the cross, and Christmas, too, points us towards the cross.
It surpasses all thought, it amazes, it confounds, to think of God becoming man; the Infinite enshrined within the finite, the Lord of all blended with His servant, the Creator with His creature! It is a depth of mystery unsearchable. We must shrink with awe when we pronounce it. Of old they fell down and worshipped, when, in our Creed, they uttered it― “God was made Man.” It was an unimaginable condescension for God to create. From Eternity, in Eternity, (since it had no beginning), He was Ever-blessed, Love loving Love in the Holy Spirit, Who is the Bond of Love and Unity. He was, in Himself, All-perfect. He needed nothing, changed not. And yet, in that He created, He did a new thing, and formed those who needed Him, as though He needed them. He formed them to serve Him Who needed them not, and He accepted their service. It was much, as Scripture saith, to “humble Himself to behold the things which are in Heaven and earth.” But that He, Who was Perfect in Himself, should take into Himself something without Him; that He, Who is All in all, should add something to Himself; that He Who is a Spirit, should take into Himself that which was material; in a word, that God (if we realize to ourselves what that word God is) should take into Himself what is not God; one must stand speechless with awe at so amazing a mystery. How must we be amazed and scarce believe for joy, to think that that which He so took was man, ourselves, our fallen, sinful, in Him Alone unsinful, unsinning nature. - E.B. Pusey, From a Christmas sermon on Philippians 2:5-7 entitled "THE INCARNATION, A LESSON OF HUMILITY."
Now certainly something needs to be said about human sins and errors. Yet it ought to be said from the standpoint of sin forgiven and error removed. Sin undoubtedly has to be taken seriously, but forgiveness even more seriously. For either forgiveness is the first word, or it is not true at all. Sin must be spoken about only as the Sin which is taken away by the Lamb of God. - Homiletics, 52.And that, I think, is a pretty good explanation of the meaning of Christmas, after all, that is why Jesus was born.