Communicating on any level is difficult. Some experts in the area claim that, in any spoken statement, there are six possible ways to interpret what was said. That means there are five possible ways to misunderstand any spoken statement! Communication can get blurry. Calls can get “dropped” in our conversations with each other. Interpretation can make words fuzzy. And then there’s the age -old question of communication: If the person you intended to receive the question didn’t understand or receive your message, did communication truly happen?
The incarnation of Jesus was the ultimate act of communication. We read in Hebrews 1 that “God… in these last days has spoken to us by His Son.” Literally it says, “in son-ness.” In other words, to make certain that what He was saying got through to us in a way we could receive it, He wrapped His message, His greatest communication, in His Son. “And the Word (Divine communication) was made (became) flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14)
Max DuPress writes about the birth of his first grandchild. Zoe was born months prematurely and for some time the family’s ability to touch and hold Zoe was severely restricted. One day, some of the restrictions were lifted. The NICU nurse came and told the family that it was vitally important for them now to touch Zoe gently, rubbing her arms while speaking to her so that she would begin to associate their voice with their touch. That’s what God did in the incarnation. In Christ, the Voice of God was associated with the Touch of God in Jesus Who was “the Word made flesh.”
Christmas is that time we celebrate “receiving” the communication of God, wrapped in swaddling clothes in Bethlehem’s manger. We “hear” God speaking there, through the infant coos of a baby’s voice. We “hear” God telling us He loves us. We “hear” God’s heartbeat in the lowly infant born to Mary. The Word became flesh… a baby’s flesh… and grew to communicate God’s greatest message of love at the cross.
How this Word of the Father is received, however, is up to you. Just like some people are guilty of having “selective hearing,” so humanity has selective hearing when it comes to God’s communication. We may be guilty of “dropping the call” so to speak, misunderstanding or muting God’s voice altogether. Not wise, but we do it.
The important question is: Can you hear Him now?
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. (Hebrews 1:1-2)
FOR REFLECTION: What can you do this Christmas season to clearly hear God’s voice to you?