A Slug or a Crab?

We are days away from celebrating Christmas. For many, the day is one of memories. Of being a child, of opening presents, of traveling “over the hills and through the woods to grandma’s house,” and so on.

Foodies recall the smells and tastes of the season. Romantics remember the simpler days. Moms and dads recall when the kids were young. Some, no doubt, relive less kind memories. Dad having too much to drink. Relatives fighting at the table. Traveling to celebrate two, three, maybe even four Christmases because of breakup and divorce.

Good or bad, Christmas is a memorable day. I hope it is the former for you.

There is one memory, however, all Christians should have regarding the day. Theologians call it the Incarnation.

C.S. Lewis, as he often does, writes poignantly regarding when God became flesh and dwelt among us:

The Second Person in God, the Son, became human Himself: was born into the world as an actual man—a real man of a particular height, with hair of a particular color, speaking a particular language, weighing so many stone. The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but (before that) a baby, and before that a fetus inside a Woman’s body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab (Mere Christianity).

“No thank you to that,” I would respond. So would you. In the party game, “Would You Rather…?” participants are offered two mostly undesirable choices and asked to choose one and explain (“Would you rather lose your sense of hearing or your sense of touch? Etc.).

If Jesus was playing and was asked leading up to his first advent, “Would you rather come as the Creator and Lord of All that you are or make yourself “nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, [humble yourself] by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross”? (Philippians 2:7-8). He would say, “The nothing one, the servant who went to the cross to die.” And that is what he did.

The gap between Jesus becoming man is exponentially more than the gap between man becoming a slug or a crab. That is not complimentary of man, I know. But he has always thought too highly of himself.

May your Christmas be full of memories you will recall with fondness in the years ahead. But don’t forget the Incarnation. The next time you see a slug, may you be reminded.

Pastor Rich Hamlin
December 16, 2021

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