From the wood of a manger to the wood of a cross.
From strips of swaddling cloths to the linen of grave cloths.
From the dark of night in Bethlehem to the dark of noon at Golgotha.
God’s great redemption plan. Heart beating. Wrapped in flesh and bones. Emmanuel, God with us, to ransom and redeem. The lost and lonely, the broken and outcast, the forgotten and shunned.
This world can have all its Christmas hype, all things merry and bright. But those who have walked through dark days know how a single Light can pierce an inky sky. Those who are acutely aware of their own imperfection covered in blood and grace can see the scandalous beauty of Love touching the unlovable, of Grace reaching down for the unworthy, of God Almighty coming to dwell with us. So three decades later, He could break and pour for us.
To grasp the birth, we have to stare at the cross. To relish the arrival, we must remember the ransom.
This song that our church sang yesterday may be my new favorite “Christmas” song, “Death was Arrested” by North Point Insideout. I’ve been listening to it on repeat all day. This is Christmas. Life begins with You.