He traded heaven for earth so we could inherit both. His intent was not that we should abandon this world but rather bless it (as he did in creation) and make a home in it (as he did in his nativity). If by sin we wounded the earth by greed and abuse of power, he would by grace redeem and heal the world by giving of his very self and emptying himself of power, becoming servant of all, the lowest of the low, the least among a nation of slaves. This is how he dignifies a world we have wasted and laid waste: by giving up his palace so we may behold him in our barn—with our own eyes. The bed of straw on which he lay became infused with divinity the morning God took on flesh in this world. Now we may see the soil as he sees it: pregnant with germinating blooms.
He was born not so we could become other-worldly but rather so we could become true citizens of the world, stewards of goodness, restorers of nobility. The wonder of Christmas is that the Son of God emptied himself of all the rights and privileges of divinity so he could become the truest human we have ever seen or will ever know. He did this so we could be trained to be human again and, in so doing, participate in his divinity.
It is a tragedy: this day there shall be fights and even murders, there will be power-plays and petty self-promotions as we play out our innumerable dramas. But he has written a new script in the stars, a third act that pulls together a cast as passionate as teenagers, as practical as carpenters…as grand as kings…as cruel as Führers…as wise as philosophers…and as coarse as shepherds. He would change the ending we would improvise so the story can pan out how the Author imagined it in the beginning. This world is destined for new life. Thank God he reminds us of this by the birth of a baby we needn’t be afraid to hold. Fear not, we tragedians have all been cast in the truest comedy.