[guest post by Dana]
(Trigger Warnings: Jesus, God and turkey are mentioned in this post, because, you know, Christmas…)
Merry Christmas to all Patterico readers! Well, I’ve already wrestled the turkey (and won!) and it’s now in the oven (rubbed with cranberry-orange balsamic and stuffed with fresh oranges and herbs), the gifts are wrapped and Christmas music fills the house. What are your plans for today? I hope your day will be wreathed in the love of family and those who care for you most. If you are alone today, may your soul sense the whispering nearness of God and be joyously overwhelmed. Due to his military service, one of my kids will not be making it home for the holidays. And as he’s missing home, “home” is certainly missing him, too. Yet this is his job and what an honorable job it is. That assurance eases the ache in this parent’s heart. Anyway, Christmas:
At Christmas, we celebrate the great occasion when the infinite Word became a finite baby. Not surprisingly, Christmas time is therefore a time to reflect on this staggering paradox—the one who spoke the galaxies into being is the same one who was held by a woman, cooing at her, not knowing how to speak at all. That is what happened.
Christmas was the beginning of the great offer, where God comes down, not to demand service, but to offer service. Jesus Christ took on a human body that was capable of dying so that He could give His life as a ransom for many. He came to give Himself away; He did not come to seize or grab anything.
Now there is glorious good news in this, but something still sounds wrong. Something is off. If God is our servant, then what is to prevent us from demanding obeisance from Him like so many selfish graspers? The answer to this puzzler is found in the fact that God did not just reverse who the master is and who the servants are, but rather He completely transforms the nature of authority and the nature of service. The question is not just who is in authority?, but also what is authority like?
Jesus did not come because He was in need of our service. “If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: For the world is mine, and the fulness thereof” (Psalm 50:12). He does not call us into His service so that we might fill up something that He was lacking. He lacks nothing—He is the everlasting and triune overflow. At the same time, He does transform us into His servants, so that we might be privileged to become part of His overflow. This is why, in the verse just prior, Jesus said of us that “whoever would be first among you must be slave of all” (Mark 10:44, ESV).
In His everlasting wisdom, God determined—according to the good counsel of His will—that He would be most glorified if a ragged band of sinners were transformed into a multitude of saints, so that we might join Him in His surplus. And this is what true servanthood is—flowing into His overflow. We become servants in imitation of Him, facing outward, facing those who truly do need service, so that all things in heaven and on earth might come to be inundated by His torrential glory.
The extraordinary Glorious Impossible happened. For us. Merry Christmas.