The presents are wrapped, the refrigerator is full, the lights twinkle on the tree and excitement abounds! It's almost Christmas.
Every night, 5-year old Sam studies the Nativity in the library and asks questions. Last night, he kept examining "the players..." and his little eyebrows kept knitting together ... he was perplexed. "Where is God? Is that God," he asked looking at Joseph. We explained, "No, that is Jesus' father, Joseph." We also told him that the woman in the Nativity was Jesus' mother Mary. "Hmm, I didn't know Jesus had a mother, he says."
He continued, "God isn't here, He's in heaven." I tried to explain to Sam that God is with us in our hearts, just like when he's not at home, he loves his Dad and holds him in his heart. To which he responded, "If you don't have God in your heart, you go down to be with the devil." He's trying really hard to understand how all of this "stuff" fits together.
In the Bible, the book of Colossians states, that there are mysteries of God that we, as rational human beings just won't understand, until we find ourselves in heaven. The Christmas story is not "rational," it's a miracle. Jesus is fully God, but He chose to come to earth as a baby, through the virgin Mary, to save us. So, yes, Jesus is both God and man.
My husband, Paul, has been teaching Sam a little science that we may have to use to explain God. Water exist in three states, a liquid, a solid and a gas ... water, ice and steam, but in any form, it's still water. In many ways, God is like a family with a father, mother and child - three persons, one family. Much like water, ice and steam, God exists in three persons: God, the father, God, the Son and God, the Holy Spirit ... still all very much God.
As we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate, God the Son ... Jesus. It's time to set aside our rational "selves" and embrace the miracle that came in the form of a birth and the fact Jesus came willingly as a babe to save us from our sins. What a tragedy if the "story" had ended differently.
Merry Christmas from the Canelos Family and remember to revel in the birth of our Savior this Christmas season.