Rev. Randy Blankschaen
“You are the same species as God.” That’s what a visiting presenter said about a month ago at Immanuel Lutheran Church of Pensacola, Florida. As I sat there, I’d like to say that you could hear a pin drop, but that wasn’t the case. What I saw instead were people who had their systems shocked. They weren’t angry or appalled. The audience didn’t disagree. It was just that the gears got jolted. We all paused. We all pondered. We all thought, “Yep. Can’t argue with that.” Of course, context is everything.
How could we disagree? St. John wrote, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). We confess Christ in the Nicene Creed: “who (that’s Jesus!) for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made man.” Jesus is true God. Yep. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. God was in the Virgin’s womb. God was in the feeding trough all swaddled up. Although He was stripped and crucified for you, Jesus didn’t take off His flesh or slough off His body when He rose from the grave. He is evermore true man. You are the same species as God.
This Christmas, take a pause. After cramming down cookies, sing a carol. After you’re done inserting silly stuff into “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” maybe attend service at your church, and hear and sing of Christ the Lord who was born for you. Receive God’s true Body and Blood under bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins, for your life, for your salvation. After all, Jesus isn’t in the manger and stall. But He is where He has promised to be.
Take a pause and take some time to ponder God’s love for you. Slugs or worms can’t say that God became what they are. But we sinner-slugs and bags of worms can. God became flesh. Jesus is true man. How honored are you? How graced are you? How much does God love you? God came down to earth from heaven so that He’s with you and you’re with Him evermore.
Rev. Randy Blankschaen serves as pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Pensacola, Florida.