So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.John 1:14 (NLT)
Have you ever heard the expression, “Fish out of water?” If not, here it is simplified: Someone who doesn’t belong. Usually this is an expression used to identify someone from a foreign culture who is very awkward in their new culture and can’t seem to figure out how to behave, or say the right things. It’s also used when someone from one social class ascends to a higher class. For example, people who win big playing the lottery suddenly go from very low income to very high income. They are rich! So, they buy cars, and houses, and jewelry, and a million other things, yet they still have the culture and customs of their former life. They are fish out of water. They aren’t refined. Something just doesn’t seem right.
The nativity story, the story of the birth of Jesus, tells a fish out of water story.
Picture a holy, perfect, all-powerful, all-loving being residing in the most perfect place in the universe – Heaven. There is no sin there. There is no sorrow there. There is no hurting there. There is no hatred there. There is only love, joy, peace, and perfect health. In heaven, Jesus hangs out with the other two-thirds of the trinity (the Father and the Holy Spirit) and is surrounded by his best friends, the angels. Every day is better than the last. It is perfection.
Now, picture our world in even a worse state than it is in today. As B.C. turned to A.D., the Romans rule with an iron fist, crushing all opposition in brutal and violent ways. The religious elite are more concerned with their pride and ceremony than the people they are called to care for. There is no middle class. There are rich, and there are poor (the vast majority of people). Deadly diseases are commonplace, and the life expectancy of people is low. Hope of a better life is brutally taken away, and anguish is everywhere one turns.
Yet, God chose to leave his world and enter ours. He did it on purpose. He gave up Heaven to come down to a world full of pain, hatred, sorrow, and grief. He gave up everything to come to us, live as one of us, and save us. He came to be murdered for us.
Today, and every day, spend some time pondering exactly what God gave up for you. It’s humbling, and it shows just how much God loves you.