Christmas Eve: An Anatomy of the Gospel

What was the Trinity thinking as the Word was being formed into flesh in Mary’s womb?
When the one through whom all things were made had his first cells woven together in the secret; from blastocyst to embryo to fetus? As the body parts took shape, what was the Trinity thinking?

Perhaps that:

  • These eyes
    • Will look at and love a rich, young ruler.
    • And see, really see, people for who and what they are.
  • These tear ducts
    • Will weep over Jerusalem and with Mary at her brother’s death.
  • These ears
    • Will listen people into being: a disgraced Samaritan woman at a well; a woman hemorrhaging for 12 years; blind Bartimaeus’ desire; disoriented friends on the road to Emmaus.
  • This cheek
    • Will receive Judas’ kiss.
  • These salivary glands
    • Will release spit that restores speech to a mute man’s tongue.
  • These lungs
    • Will sigh with compassion.
    • Breathe the holy spirit onto friends.
  • These arms
    • Will take children into them.
  • These fingers
    • Will plug hearing into a deaf man’s ears.
  • These kneecaps
    • Will press into a foot-washing floor and the garden of Gethsemane.
  • These feet
    • Will walk the Kingdom all over.
    • Will be washed with perfume and a woman’s tears, kisses, and hair.
  • These hands
    • Will reach out and touch a leper.
    • Give thanks, bless, break and give bread.
    • Overturn money changer’s tables.
    • Will, amidst betrayal and arrest, touch and heal Malchus’ sliced ear.
  • These vocal cords
    • Will rebuke a Sea of Galilee storm and throngs of demons.
    • Preach the beaItudes, heal with a word, and bring good news to the poor.
    • Cry “Lazarus, come out!”
  • This chest
    • Will cushion the head of a beloved disciple.
  • These lungs
    • Will sigh with compassion.
    • Breathe the holy spirit onto friends.
  • These arms
    • Will take children into them.
  • These fingers
    • Will plug hearing into a deaf man’s ears.
  • These kneecaps
    • Will press into a foot-washing floor and the garden of Gethsemane.
  • These feet
    • Will walk the Kingdom all over.
    • Will be washed with perfume and a woman’s tears, kisses, and hair.
  • These hands
    • Will reach out and touch a leper.
    • Give thanks, bless, break and give bread.
    • Overturn money changer’s tables.
    • Will, amidst betrayal and arrest, touch and heal Malchus’ sliced ear.

But that’s not all. As this fetus was being formed in Mary’s womb, the Trinity knew that one day:

  • This head
    • Will be struck and crowned with thorns.
  • These eyes
    • Will be blindfolded.
  • This face
    • Will be spat at, punched, and slapped.
  • These shoulders
    • Will carry a cross.
  • These hands
    • Will be nailed.
  • This side
    • Will be pierced.
  • This blood
    • Will be poured out.
  • This body
    • Will be broken, crucified, and die.

Surely, the Trinity believed this living, breathing eventually suffering and dying body would best reveal and make tangible who God really is. This body would willingly give all of itself to finally defeat the powers of sin, death, and Satan.

But that’s not all, either. As this baby was being formed in Mary’s womb, The Trinity also knew that afterwards:

  • This body will rise from the dead.
    • Trespass locked doors, stand among friends, reveal scars, and make a seaside fire and breakfast.
  • This risen, scarred, fearfully and wonderfully made body will ascend into heaven and one day return in glory.

The Trinity knew that this body would be our Easter; the firstborn of a new creaIon; the telltale sign of God one day raising us to similar resurrecIon life and making everything new.

In this body, born in the city of David, wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger, is the
radiance of God’s glory, the exact representaIon of his being, and the enIre story and hope of salvaIon. In this body is your Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord: the good news of great joy for all the people.

And you are to call him Jesus.

This same Jesus, who has now been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven. Do not be afraid. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now we know only in part; then we will know fully, even as we are fully known.

The one who tesIfies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”

This, perhaps, is what the Trinity has always been thinking.

Even so we say: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”

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