A few days ago I wrote a blog letting you know I was given this title for a talk. I want today to let you know the outline I will use. I really believe God has led me in the preparation of this talk as people have prayed for me. The following thoughts are excerpts from the talk.
So, then, for the question:
What Child is this? Let’s consider two possible answers.
- An event that will exhaust you.
- An encounter that will define you.
Let’s talk first about this baby in the manger being an event that will exhaust you. A baby. What could be more delightful? What a cute way for God to come. I like thinking of God as a baby in some ways. A baby can be a source of comfort. Then, I like thinking of Jesus as a baby because I can stay in control. I can dress Him up, put Him in the back room or put Him on display. I decide. But babies are a lot of work. Take, for example, if you need to go somewhere with a baby you can’t travel light. If Jesus is still a baby in your Christian walk you are tired.
But then, when asked, “What Child is this?” am I able to say “an encounter that defines me.” For this, we look not only at the Christmas story but also at the bigger story in which Christmas fits.
We start way back in Genesis where we learn that God made man and woman in His own image. Have you wondered why? Might it be because He planned to come as a man? Did he know, even when he was making us that He would have to become one of us in order to restore us to the original design of living in relationship to Him?
It has been said that God has written two books. One is called His World and the other is called His Word. I love to read both. I see God all over the place in the things He has made but if I were on trial and given only one minute to describe God I would choose a story of Jesus.
God invites you to recognize the Child as God becoming the man who was made in His image and then invites you to be an image bearer for Him.
How will you answer this question this Christmas, “What Child is this?