Advent Day 18 – God in a Manger
One of the more controversial dimensions of Christian thought is captured in the question: “Is Jesus Christ God?” Many people who might otherwise embrace parts of the Christian faith and worldview take pause here.
If Jesus is “the mighty God” as Isaiah 9:6-7 affirms, that changes things drastically.
- It means there is no way a casual observance or acceptance of Jesus is possible
- It means there is now demanded an absolute obedience to the words of Jesus, and not just an “appreciation” for them or admiration of them
- It means there is no way to follow Jesus without absolute surrender to His control.
In other words, saying we believe this is one thing. BELIEVING it to be true is altogether something else.
When G.F. Handel premiered his oratorio, “The Messiah” in public, many of the singers and choristers and musicians were not necessarily sold-out Christian people. They were just good at their art.
And when they sang the chorus from Isaiah 9:6-7 “And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace,” they did not necessarily believe the words being sung. They were, too many of them, just the right words for the song they were being asked to sing.
Some people are just like those choir members and musicians. They mouth the words but know little of the devotion required by them. If Jesus is truly all of the things the Prophet Isaiah claimed He was, then there is no proper response but absolute and unrestricted surrender of every part of life to Him. He is, after all, God.
And when you think about that babe in a manger this Christmas season, pause and consider: This is your God in that manger. Deity in the body of a baby. The Creator lying helpless and vulnerable in a manger because He chooses this way to come to us.
And never forget:
He didn’t have to come.