My wife and I recently welcomed our first child into the world, and it has proven to be a unique time of the year for the baby to come. She was born a week prior to the beginning of Advent. Over the past couple of weeks, we have had many opportunities to be confronted with the absolute helplessness of a newborn. There is essentially nothing she can do for herself yet. We must feed her, change her, clothe her and carry her. It is astounding how utterly dependent newborns are which caused me to think, “Jesus embraced this for us?”

The season of Advent is intended to help us remember and reflect on how Jesus came into the world over two millennia ago in order to redeem His people. This reflecting on His first coming is also meant to cause us to think towards His second coming when He will make all things new. But unless we slow down a little more, we might miss the incredible truth that Jesus came as a baby!

Imagine if you, as a grown adult, were given the choice of remaining as you were or becoming a baby. By becoming a baby, you would eventually have the opportunity to help a lot of people and make a significant impact. But think of all the things you would have to give up. You wouldn’t be able to talk, walk, drive, feed or clothe yourself, think, work, and a whole host of other things. Would you do it? The measure of condescension would be great indeed.

But our minds simply cannot comprehend the measure of condescension that Jesus spanned by becoming a helpless baby that first Christmas. It truly is immeasurable, for He is the infinitely glorious, powerful, and wise God of the universe. He left His heavenly throne to be born into our broken world in a dingy, dirty animal shelter. He forsook all the glory and majesty of heaven to embrace us in our messed up world. He became helpless to save the helpless. He became weak to save the weak. He became human to save humanity. The astounding miracle of Christmas is that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

If ever you question God’s love for you, look in your mind’s eye and in the Scriptures to see that helpless baby lying there for you. He willingly gave up His place of honor and glory to come to rescue you. The love of God for you was put on display by the baby Jesus lying helplessly in the manger. And if that weren’t enough, that little baby would eventually grow up and choose to embrace another act of condescension and humiliation – death on a cross for the forgiveness of our sins. We truly have a redeemer who loves us beyond our ability to think or imagine. Take a few moments this Advent to thank and praise Jesus specifically for embracing infancy in this broken world as an act of His great love for you.

To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Ryan Wood