Summary: This sermon starts by looking at just how amazing it is that the word became flesh and then continues by looking at how truly amazing it is that since God was made a child we can become His children.
Some times we do things that, well just aren’t too smart. In my case, this happens on a weekly basis. A while back, I heard a noise out near our trashcans and I looked out there to see a large raccoon digging for a little midnight snack. This had to be stopped. So the brave hunter I am, I got a little trap out and I was going to get the little dude. I began my vigil the next day. With fierce determination, I laid out the trap to catch the masked critter. Well, the morning when I went to check the trap, and I instead of catching a raccoon I had managed to catch a black cat. I read him his rights, and then released him. The next morning I went out, and I had caught another little cat, no biggie, same thing. On the very next morning, I looked out to the trap, and I saw this black creature going back and forth. “It’s that silly ‘ol cat again,” I thought, and I went out to release him. When I got closer, that thing turned around and lifted up its tail, and it had a long white streak going right down the center. This wasn’t a cat... this was a skunk!
The poor thing was caught inside there, and he was clawing at the ground so fiercely that dirt was piled up all around him. My heart went out to the little guy, so silly me, being the city boy I am, went and knelt down right next to the cage, and opened it up; but the skunk just curled up to the back of the cage and wouldn’t move. I tilted the trap up just a little and the thing still didn’t move. I thought, what a silly skunk. Here I was setting him free, but he was so terrified of me that he wouldn’t move an inch.
I then tried to talk some sense into the little guy. I began to say, Come on, get! Go, move along! But the thing wouldn’t listen. It was then that the thought hit me. What if just for a moment, I could change myself to become a skunk, if only for a moment. To get down on his level, to speak his language, to let him know that I wasn’t a bad guy and I really wanted to help him out.
Does that sound absurd? A man becoming a skunk? Now I’ve met some guys who smelt like skunks, but to take on its shape, to exchange my flesh for its fur, to limit myself to its limitations, does it sound absurd? If it does, then the following will sound just down right ridiculous to you. God became a man. Let those words sink in for a few seconds. God became a man. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And vs. 14 then says the amazing, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”
It just doesn’t sound right does it? God with flesh. A while back, after church one day I came home and took off my dress shirt and tie and put on an old t-shirt. A few moments later Denise and I were talking and around the corner came my oldest girl wearing my shirt and tie. She said, “I go to church!” Now she looked silly, but imagine how silly I would have looked if I had tried to put on her clothes. Yet we read here that the Word was made flesh.
Max Lucado illustrates this truth so wonderfully in his book God Came Near. He writes: “That particular moment was like none other. For through that segment of time a spectacular thing occurred. God became a man. While the creatures of earth walked unaware, divinity arrived. Heaven opened herself up and placed her most precious one in a human womb. The omnipotent, in one instant, made Himself breakable. He, who had been a spirit, now was pierce able. He who was larger than the universe became an embryo. And He who sustains the world with a word, chose to be dependent upon the nourishment of a young girl. God as a fetus. Holiness sleeping in a womb. The creator of life being created. God was given eyebrows, elbows, two kidneys and a spleen. He stretched against the walls and floated in the amniotic fluids of His mother. God had come near.”
Have you ever thought of Christmas in that light? The Word made flesh, and dwelling amongst us. God walking in our shoes. God experiencing what we experience. A little 5-year-old boy one day was playing with his 2-year-old brother when the 2 year old reached up and yanked his older brother’s hair. He screamed in pain, and his mother came rushing in. He cried and said that his younger brother had pulled his hair. His mom said, “Well, he’s only 2 years old and he doesn’t know what its like to have his hair pulled.” The mom left and seconds later she heard a scream from the bedroom, but this time it was the 2 year old screaming in pain. She rushed in and asked what had happened, to which the 5 year old explained, “You said he didn’t know what it felt like, well now he does.”