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Monday, January 3, 2011

Rustler Article for 12.23.10

I was held hostage in a waiting room this week while waiting for my car to be serviced. To help pass the time I picked up a copy of the Waco Tribune Herald and found a most curious and comical mistake in it: the front page of the sports section contained a story about how the Baylor men’s basketball team had “demolished” their opponent. This wasn’t particularly curious or comical. What caused the waiting-room chuckle was that the article was written in Latin.
It is clear that someone in the editorial process had neglected to proof that article. While I do not envy the grief that the editor will no doubt receive, the presence of such a glaring editorial error is exactly appropriate for the Christmas weekend.
The Incarnation of our Savior is a lot like the presence of a Latin article in an American newspaper. We can read and read and read for years, our eyes growing accustomed to the words on the page and our fingers used to the newsprint and black smudges. But then something unexpected happens; the words are in a different language, the sentences, while grammatically correct, are illegible in our minds. Suddenly the article is special, a mystery, an unknown thing in a sea of what we’ve grown accustomed to.
Such is the Christmas story. In the midst of our monotony and common humanity, something special and unexpected comes that makes us sit up and take notice. The Incarnation is a mystery right in front of our eyes. We know there is great meaning to the birth of Christ, but we cannot for the life of us figure out how God can be made flesh and dwell among us. There he lies: majesty and glory in the body of a little boy. How can we do anything but gawk at the stare?
The difference between Christ as curiosity and Christ is Savior is whether or not we are willing to move past the curiosity that is his birth and develop a relationship with him. This crucial choice determines whether or not we see the birth of Jesus Christ as a curiosity in the mundane passing of human history, or whether we accept him as the Savior who makes the rest of life come alive.

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