Well…first things first. I promised a picture of my grandson yesterday and I forgot to attach it. So — here you go. This is Hudson Keith Vaughan and he is Poppa’s Buddy. He’s almost 6 months old and I call him “Scooter.”
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:15-16)
I suppose everybody has their own list of things for which they are thankful. I heard about a little fellow in Sunday school who was asked make a list of things for which he was thankful. He wrote down that he was thankful for his glasses.
The teacher was impressed by that. Some people resent having to wear glasses. Here, obviously, was a child mature enough to appreciate what wearing glasses did for him.
“Johnny,” she said, “I see that you put your glasses down at the head of the list of things for which you are thankful. Is there any special reason for that?”
“Yes, ma’am. My glasses keep the boys from hitting me and the girls from kissing me.”
As I was reading Colossians 1 today, I found something for which I am thankful. I’m thankful for THE INCARNATION. Paul says, “He is the image of the invisible God…” If you keep reading, Paul says, “He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18).
Crucial to everything we believe as Christians is this truth. God loved the world so much that He made the long journey from where He was to where we are. When it was impossible for us to reach out to Him, He reached out to us.
We may be divided by theologies, how we baptize people and a host of other issues — but on one point we must all agree — God became flesh and dwelled among us. That is the incarnation and without it, we have no eternal inheritance. John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Here is how Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer describes the incarnation.
“In a reasonable effort to attain to a worthy appraisement of the Redeemer, this fundamental truth must be fixed in mind as the ground for all other realities which enter into His marvelous, exalted Being, namely, that, since He combines in Himself undiminished Deity and perfect humanity, there is none other comparable to Him, either within the Godhead, among angels, or among men.” (Systematic Theology, vol. 3, p. 15)
Do you see how important this is? There was no other way that God could possibly have revealed His nature to us. Suppose, instead, He had chosen one of us and taken us to be with Him and then sent us back to tell everybody else. Do you actually think people would listen?
Years ago in The American Magazine, Merle Crowell told a true story from Alaska. It was about an Eskimo from Greenland who was taken on one of the American North Polar expeditions a number of years ago. Later, as a reward for his faithfulness he was brought to New York City for a visit. He was amazed at the sights and sounds he experienced there. When he returned to his native village, he told stories of buildings that rose into the very face of the sky; of streetcars, which he described as houses that moved along the trail, with people living in them as they moved, of mammoth bridges, artificial lights, and all of the other dazzling aspects of being in a large city.
His people looked at him coldly. They did not believe him. Indeed, they gave him a new name. The name was Sagdluk — which means “The Liar.” He kept that name all of the rest of his life until his old name was entirely forgotten.
There was no other way God could have done it. It was essential that the God of all creation take upon Himself the flesh and frailty of humanity.
And for THAT, I am thankful.
Have a great day.