“And the word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. “John 1:14
Can you imagine not being touched for twelve years? No comforting hand upon your shoulder, no welcoming embrace from family and friends, nothing but perhaps a stranger bumping into you, or the unfeeling hands of a doctor’s examination. Can you imagine moving a step closer to someone to have better conversation, only to have them make an obvious step away, and maybe for their own good.
Can you imagine being considered unholy, being considered as one who makes another unclean. You are the agent of un-cleanness.
There was a woman who bled for 12 years with a kind of hemorrhage, which made her – and anyone who touched her – ceremonially unclean, unable to participate, not only in the offerings in the temple, but in community.
But when she saw Jesus coming, she pushed through the crowds and grabbed hold of His cloak, trusting that His power would be sufficient to heal.
Here was God–with her. Not against her, not opposing her, not maintaining barriers, but removing them. Personally, he was near, within reach. His presence created a new reality in which she could come near to Him.
John says that Jesus was one that he saw and touched with his hands. God with us. Truly alive and accessible.
Can you imagine the resplendent God, whose personhood is so pure that it shines, this very God in whose presence no impure thing can stand — walking in the dust, muck, and mire of the world? What a reality, that the omniscient God experienced the helplessness and confusion of new life as an infant. He had to learn and grow; he experienced rejection and loneliness. The eternal God limited Himself to the lowliest degree–the son of a poor family, a refugee in the first moments of his life, raised in an obscure village, rumored to be born out of wedlock. The God who dwells in unapproachable light came to know deeply, dark circumstances in the most personal way.
Who is this God, worthy of worship, worthy to be lofty and set apart, and yet condescending to the degree that He could be known and touched, and furthermore, to let the frail body He took on be beaten, stripped, pierced, and broken for us?
If we hope to consider who God is, may we not only characterize His majesty by His glory and grandeur, but by His mercy and His kindness. We must look at His eagerness to create a path to Himself that fulfilled every requirement of justice and righteousness, a path that required God to sacrifice Himself. And He did not shrink back, but fully gave Himself over.
Truly, He is worthy to be worshiped, not only because He is creator, but because He is God with us, the holy one who touched the skin of the leper and the eyes of the blind and made them new. God allowed Himself to be embraced by those who loved Him, and to be seized and beaten by those who hated Him.
This Christmas, may we see more in the infant Jesus than a simple, saintly manger scene. Let us see a God who knows and can be known. Let us see a God who has not only made Himself available, but purposefully came to touch our brokenness and bring it to life.