Winter is upon us here in Baltimore. The daylight hours have been decreasing since the autumnal equinox in September and will do so until the winter solstice in December. Crisp, refreshing breezes have encouraged us to don more layers, reminding us gently of the fragility of the human form. Bears don't need coats. I've never seen birds wearing mittens. We are so unique!
As I think about winter, the season that brings a level of darkness and sobriety, I'm reminded of the warmth and joy that Christ brings in contrast. We celebrate, in the heart of winter, the incredible gift of Christ. Born as a baby, a real human baby - fragile and defenseless - yet the Lord of all time and eternity at once. In the stillness of a barnyard scene laid the One who the scripture tells us has stretched forth the heavens alone.
This very God who conceived of and formulated all the physical laws of our Universe was willing to be born into this Universe. And it was on this little planet, in this solar system, in this rather normal galaxy, that the Lord of all creation was to be slain on our behalf. He would experience death and separation, the sting of rejection, and endured it all - for "the joy that was set before Him". That joy? Reconciling mankind to God through His perfect sacrifice, the shedding of His sinless blood on the cruel and brutal Cross. Our joy? Resurrection! He rose and we who believe have risen with Him! Baptised in His death, we emerge soaked in His victory, clothed in righteousness we never could have achieved left to our own devices. Seated in heavenly places we never deserved to even visit. Overflowing with joy unspeakable, and completely, eternally secure in what Christ finished.