If you had to summarize your greatest learning over the past 20 years, what would it be? For me, it is that people are complex. We are multi-faceted, multilayered,
relational creatures. We have bodies. Yet we are more than just bodies – we are also our minds, our souls, our experiences and so much more. Each human is, as G. K. Chesterton once said about the Church, “larger on the inside than…on the outside.”
Human complexity is all over scripture. Our greatest Bible “heroes” are full of competing, even contradictory characteristics. Courage and timidity. Wisdom and foolishness. Faithfulness and deep brokenness. Think of David. Moses. Rahab. Peter. The list goes on. And our theology points to the same truth. We are saints and sinners. Perfectly made and yet full of contradictions, hurts and questions. Scripture, theology, and our experience all agree – being human is complex.
At Christmas, we celebrate the extraordinary news that in Jesus Christ, God became human. Truly human. And while we often wish we could grow out of our humanity, to leave our human nature and its complexity behind, Christmas reminds us that God became human for us and wants us also to be human – really human. Isn’t it fascinating, that while we spend much time dividing the good from the evil, and the godly from the godless, God chose on Christmas to take on all of humanity in the birth of Jesus? All the complexity, all the contradiction. Every bit of it. God chose the side of real humans and the real world against all our
accusers and the forces that bury us.
God did this, of course, out of love. God could have chosen to save just the best of us. But God chose to save humanity. All of us. And all that is within us. This is the gift of Christmas – this truth. So share it. Celebrate it. Ponder it in your own heart. Be human this Christmas and know you belong to the God who became human, too. For the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…full of grace and truth. – John 1:14