The Incarnation of God highlights a foundational truth of the gospel – that God first comes to us.
But while the Incarnation is the ultimate example of this truth, it is not the first demonstration of it. This is how it has always been, from the very beginning when God sought after Adam and Eve in the Garden as they hid in their shame (Gen. 3:9:10, 15. Throughout all of history, we see God as the Great Initiator in the salvation of His people.
As Scripture tells us, no man seeks after Him, not one (Rom 3:10–12). Without God, we are all dead in our sins, and not only are we unable to seek after Him, we are also utterly unwilling and uninterested. And yet… God pursues (Eph. 2:1–7). Out of His own love, according to His very character and being, He determined from eternity to not abandon His fallen creation. And He did so at great cost to Himself.
Two thousand years ago, while the world stumbled in the dark, blind to righteousness, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn. 1:14). Christ the Son of God appeared.
As G.K. Chesterton wrote of the Incarnation in one of his Christmas poems,
“Outrushing the fall of man,
Is the height of the fall of God.”
Great indeed was mankind’s fall into sin. But how much greater was, as we may poetically put it, the “fall” of God in pursuit of man, as seen in the Incarnation?
And so the exhortation this morning is quite simple, although not easy. In all of the excitement and busyness of this season, find time to truly contemplate this great mystery of our faith, that “though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor…” (2 Cor. 8:9). Whether it be in a quiet evening beside the Christmas tree, while singing hymns in church, or while buried under last-minute sheets of wrapping paper with scissors in your hand. In light of the Christ’s incarnation, ponder again these words of the Apostle John, “We love God, for He loved us first” (1 Jn. 4:19). And believe them.
Shawn Paterson – December 17, 2023