February 26, 2013

From the Manger to Calvary

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life." (John 3:16)

I still have our main nativity set up in our house (yes, I know "main" means we have more than one; and yes, I know it's Lent already).  It's in a prominent place and normally I am able to get all our Christmas decorations put away by Valentine's Day, and certainly by Ash Wednesday.

This year, however, I just could not bring myself to dismantle the nativity set.  I don't know why.

Okay.  Well.  Maybe I do know part of the, "Why?"

Admittedly, part of the hold up is that the box into which it is packed is such a super-colossal-pain-in-the-neck to re-pack.  And part of the hold up is that I've gotten into the habit of using this beautiful nativity set as a nightlight at night.

But this year, a huge part of the hold up has been the stark reminder that the nativity set has been to me, every time I look at it, of the real sacrifice that Christ made for us in coming to Earth as a helpless infant child and dying an excruciatingly horrible death for our sins.

Our sins.  Ours.  Mine.  Yours.  Ours.  Our sins.  Us.

I mean, look at Him.  Just LOOK at Him in the manger.  Look at that cute, cuddly, perfect, precious, helpless, infant baby.  How did we go so quickly from this (i.e. - willingly submissive, perfectly formed, chubby, baby arriving amidst great joy during Advent in December) to this (i.e. - willingly submissive, perfectly tortured, wracked, adult male dying amidst great anguish during Lent in March)?   I just can't wrap my tiny little brain around the fact that God (THE God!) decided to descend from heaven in this vulnerable form and allow His form to be totally, completely, and utterly brutalized.

For us.  All for us.

I guess that's the point, isn't it?  That I can't fathom it.  How can anyone fathom the love of God?  How can anyone fathom His completion of our covenant with God, His restoration of our potential to be in union with Him?

Because isn't that the reason for which we're all here?  To know, love, and serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him forever in heaven?

So really, does anything else even matter?  What more could He have done for us?

What more could He have done for you?

1 comment:

C. Gill said...

"One of the objects of the Incarnation was to reunite men in the bonds of charity which had been severed by sin. Jesus Christ made this charity an express commandment. He calls it His only commandment. He declares that it is the true mark of His religion. To preserve this charity, He has left us His Body and His Blood under the appearances of bread and wine, in order that, partaking of one Bread, we may also be one body and one soul." from The Blessed Eucharist, Father Muller