Christmas Day: Christ the Center and the Circumference

December 25, 2015

Bible Text: John 1:1-14 |

Since the dawn of human thought, and the birth of spiritual aspirations, we have looked to the heavens to find God. We have sought God in the sun and in the moon and in the stars. Our hearts tell us there must be a God, and that this God must be big – big enough to make it all, big enough to set the planets in their courses, big enough to make the wind blow and the clouds thunder. And so we have named him Apollos and Zeus and Thor.

And we have needed God to be big enough to know and understand how everything works – the intricacies of the brain and human spirit. And we need God to be big enough to hold my concerns and the concerns of all people through time, to say nothing of the rest of creation and its needs. And again we know that this must be a very, very big God indeed.

One writer described the bigness of such a God as the “Circumference” – this wide arching circle – big enough to contain all that is and ever shall be. And that’s a good image for our God: The Circumference of All Being.

But on this day, on this morning, in this shabby little manger, our God is no longer only the circumference. Today, God has also become the center, “and a center is infinitely small” (G. K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man, 172).

This God from heaven fell. But it was no accident; there was no violence. The Son of God beheld his polluted world and cried to the Father, “Let me go there.” And so he did. From the vastness of a gilded heaven, he entered the dark, wet confines of a mother’s womb. And the Son of Eternity became a beginning – a beginning that was infinitely small.

Jesus has become with us the center of all being: center within center, smaller and smaller, this little God has made God’s home in us, where there is no space too small to fit. Jesus has found his home in every stable, in every human heart, in every dark and timid space.

Our little God has carried his divinity with him. He entered the womb of his mother Mary, and carried his god-ness within her. And so he has entered the womb of humanity, planting the seed of his divinity within us all. God with us. God in us. Emmanuel. Jesus.

Our God is love. And love came down at Christmas and is now with us, the center of every center, and the circumference that holds all things together as one.

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