Christmas is about the incarnation of Jesus.  It is about God taking on human form and literally adding a human nature to his own.  This idea that God would, in one member of his Trinitarian make-up, set aside his glory and empty himself out into humanity (Philippians 2:1-11), is what we celebrate at Christmas.  This is a paradox that is not supposed to be possible – God becomes human; a human is God.

It’s completely absurd.

Think about this for a moment.  Humans spend their lives rebelling against God.  They do not have access to God because of their treasonous behavior.  As all kings do, God has sentenced them to death, and exiled them from his Kingdom and presence until the sentence is fully carried out.  In other words, they live now as though they were already dead, and are so spiritually, even if they do not know it yet.

On top of that, God’s people Israel are bound to subjection under Roman rule, and cry out for liberation.  They are awaiting a savior Messiah, a triumphant King to free them from the yoke of a foreign empire.

How does God choose to solve the problem of mankind being propelled towards eternal death?  How does he decide to solve the Roman problem for his people Israel?  He has a tween peasant girl give birth to a baby in a backwater town lived in by only a few hundred people that no one really cares about.

Great plan.

Then the baby she delivers has limits, he has to eat and sleep and grow and learn, but he’s also God.

That makes no sense.

And yet it’s still SO beautiful.

Christians are slaves to modernity.  We are always trying to justify what we believe, always trying to prove it and validate it.  We so badly want Christianity to be reasonable.  As Soren Keirkegaard went to great lengths to show (and I think he was right), Christianity is not reasonable in some of it’s most important points.  It’s completely absurd.  Abraham tried to kill his own kid to prove he was a good child to God.  Jeremiah proved the goodness of God by living a miserable life.  Hosea was forced to marry a prostitute to demonstrate faithfulness.  The Bible was written by God and man simultaneously.  And above them all, God conquered evil by becoming a helpless baby who couldn’t hurt a fly, so that he could live the life you couldn’t, usher in the next phase of the Kingdom of God in the process, and then die as helplessly as he lived to take the penalty of your own treason so you wouldn’t have to.

Christianity is not reasonable.  At least not at it’s most vital points.  Paul went to great lengths to demonstrate this in the first 2 chapters of 1 Corinthians, and we have been ignoring him for the last hundred years.

We shouldn’t ignore him.  If you think the incarnation is reasonable, you’re crazy.  It is an offense to human reason.  It is precisely that Christianity is so full of absurd paradoxes that makes it so beautiful, and Christmas celebrates maybe the most absurd and beautiful paradox of them all.  Keirkegaard once said that it took something as absurd as God becoming something so normal, a human, to get our attention.  This Christmas, thank God for absurdity.

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