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Ann and I are currently making the journey out to West Yellowstone, where we will spend Christmas with our families. We are praying for a lot of snow, as our plan is to rent snowmobiles and explore the many geothermic features in the park. We thought this would be a good way to bring our families together, have some adventures, and enjoy the Creation.
Christmas is a time to remember the story of God coming to save the world with those whom I love most. Jesus, God’s son, came as a baby boy, from the poorest of the poor. He came to set us free from our sin. His birth was the greatest gift to the world. Nobody had a clue that the God of the universe was going to come to earth like He did.
Keikergaard tried to explain why Jesus would have come this way in a parable:
Suppose there was a king who loved a humble maiden. This king was like no other king. Every statesman trembled before his power. No one dared breathe a word against him, for he had the strength to crush all opponents. And yet this mighty king was melted by love for a humble maiden. How could he declare his love for her? In an odd sort of way, his kingliness tied his hands. If he brought her to the palace and crowned her head with jewels and clothed her body in royal robes, she would surely not resist—no one dared resist him. But would she love him?
She would say she loved him, of course, but would she truly? Would she be happy at his side? How could he know? If he rode to her forest cottage in his royal carriage, with an armed escort waving bright banners, that too would overwhelm her. He did not want a cringing subject. He wanted a lover.
He wanted a lover. So the mighty king disguises himself as a beggar, and comes to the maiden’s door in the woods, alone, to win her heart.
It is a parable of the coming of Jesus of Nazareth.
John Eldredge writes:
The King of all Creation takes on human flesh and enters our story as one of us. God himself sets aside his glory, clothes himself with humility and sneaks into the enemy camp, under cover of night, to whisper words of love to his own. “I have come for you.” This is, after all, a love story. “We are born in love, by love, and for love,” as Gerald May has said. From the laughter of the Trinity we came, and to the laughter of the Trinity we must return.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. (John 15:9)
God created us in freedom to be his intimate allies, and he will not give up on us. He seeks his allies still. Not religion. Not good church people. Lovers. Allies. Friends of the deepest sort.
I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. (Jeremiah 24:7)
The coming of Jesus is the most beautiful of all wild love stories.