The Incarnation and "the foolishness of God"
I love the song, "Mary, did you know?"-- written by singer/comedian Mark Lowry. It's been recorded by a number of artists, but I've decided to link to his version on YouTube.
(UPDATE: Jordan Smith's 2015 Voice rendition.) Reflect on the words... Mary did you know... that your baby boy will one day walk on water? that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters? that your baby boy has come to make you new? This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you. Mary did you know... that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man? that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand? that your baby boy has walked where angels trod? And when you kiss your little baby, you've kissed the face of God. The blind will see; the deaf will hear; the dead will live again. The lame will leap; the dumb will speak; the praises of the lamb. Mary did you know... that your baby boy is Lord of all creation? that your baby boy will one day rule the nations? that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb? This sleeping child you're holding is the great I AM. The Incarnation is at the heart of the Gospel-- not just that Jesus came as the GodMan in bodily form, as the ultimate sin-bearer, as the Perfect High Priest offering Himself as the Perfect Sacrifice for our sins. Beyond that, consider the manner of the Incarnation-- He didn't just roll down here for a week, hop on a cross, and rise from the dead. He lived our kind of life from cradle to cross. It's all pretty crazy-- the subject of Kyle's sermon last weekend. As Lewis and Chesterton wrote, the Incarnation-- and in particular, "the Christmas story"-- is the Myth and the Fairy Tale that is True. Or as another popular song puts it: this is "such a strange way to save the world". Kyle focused on the surprising details of that First Christmas: Nazareth and Bethlehem rather than Jerusalem or Rome; cave and feeding trough rather than palace and crib; shepherds and philosophers rather than kings; Mary and Joseph-- nobodies in a nowhere place. Why wasn't it easier? Why wasn't it grander? For the King of Kings. All of this from Isaiah 55:8-9's God whose thoughts are not ours-- and infinitely higher than ours. All of this to signal God's power and desire to redeem. All of this-- what looks like the foolishness of God. Paul writes in I Corinthians 1:18-25: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God... For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles... For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.