The incarnation is one of the greatest treasures of our faith. The world keeps pushing God away, feeling more comfortable with him up in the heavens somewhere. But in the coming of Jesus he draws near. Incredibly near. He takes on our humanity. How could he possibly get closer? He nurses at Mary’s breast.
One of my favorite Christmas meditations comes from this passage by Chesterton (he is speaking of Bethlehem, and what it held in its foothills that fateful night):
The strange kings fade into a far country and the mountains resound no more with the feet of the shepherds; and only the night and the cavern lie in fold upon fold over something more human than humanity.2
Savor that passage for a moment. The manger Mary used as a cradle held something more human than humanity? Do you think of Jesus as the most human human-being who ever lived?
The ravages of sin, neglect, abuse, and a thousand addictions have left us all a shadow of what we were meant to be. Jesus is humanity in its truest form. His favorite title for himself was the Son of Man. Not of God—of man. Too much “heavens” stuff pushes Jesus away. His humanity brings him close again.