“The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.”
Kierkegaard has a fable of a king who fell in love with a maid. When asked, “How shall I declare my love?” his counselors answered, “Your majesty has only to appear in all the glory of your royal glory before the maid’s humble dwelling and she will instantly fall at your feet and be yours.”
But it was precisely that which troubled the king. He wanted her glorification, not his. In return for his love he wanted hers, freely given. Finally, the king realized love’s truth, that freedom for the beloved demanded equality with the beloved. So late one night, after all the counselors of the palace had retired, he slipped out a side door and appeared before the maid’s cottage dressed as a servant.
Kierkegaard is telling the Christmas story. God has come to us so that we can experience God’s love in a way we can respond freely and authentically. By experiencing God’s love, we return God’s love by loving one another. God’s has become flesh, taking human form in Jesus. By experiencing Jesus we experience God’s love made human.
The gospel writer John tells us that God moved into our neighborhood. He says that God pitched his human tent in the world in which we live. The Word became flesh and made his home among us.
That’s the joy of Christmas. God has come to be with us! There is just one problem.
God does not come alone. God brings all the human family with him. Now, that is another story!
Joy to the world the Lord has come,
Let earth receive her king.
Let every heart prepare him room
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing.