by Karen DeArmond Gardner
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. Colossians 1:15 ESV
It was a night like any other night. Or was it?
The evening sky glittered with specks of light except for one beautiful star, a guide for those who knew would follow. Nighttime sounds were heard along with the baying of animals. Suddenly, the darkness filled with the sound of screams, first of a woman, then of a baby.
Tucked away in a small corner of the world, a child was born. To the observer, the birth wasn’t significant. The town’s citizens unaware who had arrived in their midst. A baby in a barn was not what they expected.
No one knew that God had just broken 400 years of silence, first with the cry of a baby, then with a host of angels announcing to a few shepherds that the long-awaited Messiah was born. On this night, God could now be seen and touched in the form of a babe.
On this night there was a shift in the heavens. Everything changed. The promise of the Messiah had been fulfilled.
Heaven came to earth.
Did the great deceiver feel it? As the babe cried, did he also cry in agony? Did he sense his impending doom? Did he get a headache, feeling as though his skull was being crushed? Did he remember the curse placed upon him thousands of years before? Did he hear the sound of angels singing? I imagine he was frantic, trying to figure out what had just happened. This humble beginning was not what he expected.
The great mystery began with the cry of an infant. One day this babe would sacrifice himself for me, for you. This babe would conquer death and give us the power of the resurrection through the Holy Spirit. The creator of the universe could inhabit us. We could become the dwelling place of the Most High.
All because of a babe wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger. All the authority, power, and glory of God wrapped into a sweet bundle of joy who needed to be fed, changed and cuddled.
Mary had carried the glory of God for nine months, and now she held him in her arms. She watched and listened when the shepherds came to tell of their encounter with heaven. She hid every word in her heart.
I’m in awe of all that Jesus endured bringing heaven to earth. Before the foundations of the world He, the creator of all, chose to become an infant so the invisible God could be seen.
The glitz and glitter of Christmas decorations are a reminder that the invisible God became visible. We remember how extravagant God’s love is and the lengths He went to show us how much He loves us.
Take a few moments this Christmas season and consider the mystery of heaven coming to earth. How the unseen became seen. How the powerful Son of God became a helpless baby. How the glory of God would be held in a young girl’s arms and be laid in a manger among the animals. How the world changed with the single cry of a babe.
About the author: Karen DeArmond Gardner is a 30-year survivor of domestic violence. She has spent 15 years on her own healing journey and nearly that long helping others find freedom, restoration, and redemption.
Karen is a facilitator in Freedom Ministry/Sozo and directs the Women’s Ministry at Catch the Fire DFW Church. She also facilitates Mending the Soul, a group that leads women through the trauma of their past into healing and wholeness. She serves on the Board of Directors for Arukah House, a transitional home for women coming out of sex trafficking and abuse.
Karen blogs at Crack the Silence and can be found at her Crack the Silence Facebook page. She continues to be a helpful contact and resource for abused women in her church and community.
Join the conversation: What part of Christmas seems the most mysterious to you?