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The Incarnation

The Incarnation

Imagine that God, more than two thousand years ago, decided to give his people a gift of their own choosing.  Imagine a prophet announcing the news; the flurry of activity as the people decide what they might ask for – or perhaps it would have taken a while even to decide upon a group of deciders?  Imagine the consultation with the wise; the opinions of the scribes and the pharisees.

Scripture would bring to mind the book of Kings, when God gave Solomon the opportunity to ‘ask what you would like me to give you.’  As we know, God was so pleased with Solomon’s answer that he was granted ‘a heart wise and shrewd as none before you has had and none will have after you’ (1 Kings 3:4-15).

It’s just as well, isn’t it, that God gives us what we need rather than what we want (or even what we think we need)?  If God had asked us, what would we have come up with?  Even if we’d had a hundred rulers as wise and good as Solomon, we’d never have thought to ask God for a gift as great as the gift he gives us in the Incarnation.

Working (as he does) outside time and space, God sees the whole of humanity before him and knows what we need, and when.  Through the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, 2000+ years ago, he fulfilled the promise he’d given through the prophets and brought about a new age.  Because we know nothing else, we can only feebly guess the joy of the shepherds and others who, having yearned so long for the Messiah, recognised him in the baby in the manger and realised that they were the first to live in that new age.  But when we gaze at the infant king in our cribs, we can try to take a wider view of our position in history and appreciate that we live – here and  now – in the second chapter of Salvation History; the chapter which is governed by the same King who lay in the manger in Bethlehem: Christ the Lord.

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