700 years before the first Christmas, the prophet Isaiah already saw it: A great light that was going to shine on the whole world.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
a light has shone.
When we celebrate Christmas and the Birth of Jesus, we are celebrating the Humanity of God! God became man. When you are adoring the Child Jesus in the Manger, you are contemplating God.
When God became man, the history of the world changed forever.
Why did God become a man? What does man have that made God want to become man?
- An innocent child, who could not defend himself?
- Was God incomplete somehow without becoming man?
- Did God become man in order to be complete?
None of that. We have to see all of God’s actions as loving.
God became man to complete man in his being. In other words, God became man because he always loved man, and he made us to love and always live with Him. We were incomplete, and he sacrificed himself for us. Yes, we were incomplete and naked before the sin of the world, without defense against the demons in the world. God became man to save us in His love for us.
Why did this humble birth have such a great impact on the world?
Let’s imagine the world before the Birth of Jesus. Perhaps it is difficult for us today, who live in a world and culture largely shaped by Christianity.
We might not even recognize the world Before Christ. The world had no reason to hope. People lived in superstition, of evil, “magical” powers, in sin, in fear of suffering and death. Isaiah, centuries before Jesus, describes how the world was in his time,
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light …
In the visions Isaiah shares he saw a different future for mankind, a great light. Jesus was the great light. When God became man, his light shone. With his crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus gave us Hope for eternal life. He destroyed death. Jesus established His Church with authority over all sin. Pagan people began to experience something new: Hope and a freedom of spirit, freedom from fear. The great light changed the entire history of man.
We are still free choose the world without Christ, without God, and many do. Hope is our decision. However, many people are left in the dark, without hope and fear. Their own decision.
It is our decision to believe and worship the Child. When we are worshiping the Child, we are coming to know God, and his love for us. We are rejecting the fear of the world, sin and death. When we worship the Child, we can contemplate our life with and without Jesus Christ. Do we choose the world without Jesus, or with Jesus? Critical decision. When you adore the Child, it’s not a Manger scene, it’s the Humanity of God, and God’s love for us. The Manger is God’s invitation to love Him as we would love a little Child.
Today we are living in a world suffering from Covid-19 and growing hardships, including unemployment. We are living in a world suffering from many fears such as deportation and separation of families. We are living in the world of drug, alcohol, sex and violence addictions. We are living in a sea of indifference and Hate.
But we have an option that the world does not offer or know. We have Christ and his Church and the Sacraments that He gave us. We have the Child Jesus. Our opportunity is to adore Him.
The shepherds at Bethlehem got it right away. It’s not complicated. The real work of Christmas is to adore Baby Jesus, our God who became man. And if we love the Child, we can learn to love each other as God loves us. When we worship the Child Jesus, we learn to love like God. That is the Humanity of God.
He became like us, so we could become like Him.