It’s that season again. It nearing the end of the year, the time of Christmas. This is the season of gifts, stress, mad shopping, trees, decorations, simple tunes, family, red rider BB guns, and celebrations. What happens the day after Christmas? Life goes on.
It’s the same way for any major event. Think back to your birthday. What happened afterwords? Life went on. What about your high school or college graduation? Life went on. Imagine your wedding day, reflect or look ahead to it, what happened afterwords? Life went on.
This is a great thing! We are not trapped in a single moment. Yet we get tired, run down after doing the same thing over and over. It is the daily grind that grinds us down – yet it should not. G. K. Chesterton writes:
“A child kicks its legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough… It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again,” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again,” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike: it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
The daily grind is life, not just the moments of celebration. Many people look forward to the fun events leaving the daily grace of adventure behind. Now what does this have to do with Christmas? Let’s look back at the story…
It was a fast 9 months for Mary and Joseph. The blessing of the Messiah was announced to her by an angelic being. Joseph was commanded to stay with her (God recognized the need of Fathers – Mary needed Joseph as a fish needs water). Mary visited Elizabeth, and after that was continually enraptured by joy. Then by government decree they both had to take the uncomfortable travel to Joseph’s home town. A birth followed. Shepherds came in raving about what they saw in the shy that night. Soon thereafter the new family had to escape the murderous rampage of a tyrant by going to Egypt.
After all that guess what happened? Life went on as it always does. The larger events faded into small memories in the mist of time.
I am sure that both Mary and Joesph were frustrated when they had to wake up in the early hours of the morning to clean the Messiah’s diaper. I am sure that the Christ-child leaked, spit, cried, and all the other gooey, icky, and wonderfully nasty things babies do. Imagine comforting Jesus when his baby teeth started to penetrate His gums.
Did Mary and Joseph have great joy taking care of the Son of Man? Of course they did!
Was it still tiring work? Yes, I am sure it was – just ask any parent. That is what God’s humility is about.
In Philippians 2: 6-9 it says:
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”
Yes, being a baby was not the greatest act of humility for God (that humility is celebrated later in the year) but the incarnation is truly an amazing deed of selflessness. Yet, do we remember what great cost that was for God? Sometimes I think that the large event that we celebrate has faded into smallness by the mists of time.
Think of it this way… the Creator of the Universe – the Being who formed the galaxies with a Word, the One who molded Adam, the Great I AM had to have his poop wiped from his bottom. Not just once, but every time his diaper (or whatever they used) filled. What would it feel like to clean that up? It would feel like a daily grind. On the other hand what a great privilege (as I am sure any parent could attest) to be there for their child.
In our daily grinds of work, house duties, and other things that wear us down we see that God was there too. Due to the incarnation he has gone through every temptation, every dull moment, every tiring duty and even has taken our transgressions!
The interesting twist is that Jesus gave his life so that we can become “young” and say “Do it again, do it again”! He died so that we can exult in the glory of monotony! What a great God we serve!