Those born in the 80s will probably remember the 1995 song by Joan Osborne “What if God was one of us”, a song that wonders about what God would be like if he became a man: what he would look like, what he would say, what he would do, how people would respond to him and whether he’d get phone calls just from people like the Pope!
Well, what this song poses as a mere rhetoric question, will in effect be celebrated throughout the world as millions upon millions will come together to rejoice over the day when heaven quite literally touched earth, when the Son of God became to Son of Man, when God himself became one of us.
Unfortunately, many people will do so in a merely traditional or religious way. Others will show up simply because they feel it is a requirement to retain their “ticket to heaven” and prevent their Christening from “expiring” or because they gave in to a relentless invitation.
However, many more will do so as a true act of worship, in an acknowledgement of what this supernatural birth represent, namely the fact that our Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth, high and lifted up was willing to take upon mortality, shrink his infinite being to the size of a baby and come down to rescue us from our own mess. At Christmas we celebrate a gracious and merciful God that never gave up on us, a God that never expected us to come up to him, but that was willing to come down to us himself, despite the fact that we didn’t deserve him in the least, despite the fact that we’d put him on a cross in the attempt to quench a light revealing the wretchedness of our hearts.
For those of us who were captivated by God’s mercy and grace, by his underserved forgiveness and love, Christmas is not “a season to be merry”, but a season to worship in a special way the only child ever born to die, the Son of God, that became the Son of Man, so that the sons of men might become the sons of God.
This Christmas, let us not come and celebrate only but first and foremost to worship. As the beloved carol goes, “Oh come let us adore him, Christ the Lord”