At Christmas we sing, “God of God, Light of Light…” They are familiar words, easily sung, yet not so easily apprehended, and sadly left out of some modern arrangements.
The words of course are not original to the carol, but come from the Nicene Creed, words rooted in the word, words thought about, discussed and accepted by the early church fathers as totally descriptive of Jesus.
“We believe in God the Father … And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father.”
Staggering aren’t they?
The hymn writer Charles Wesley put it another way, “God contracted to a span, incomprehensibly made man.”
They are words that are vital to the Christian story and to our faith for without them God and man are forever disconnected. John said, “The Word was with God, and the Word was God…” and what’s more he says the same Word “became flesh….” And later on Paul would say, “all the fullness of God dwelt in Him.” He wasn’t becoming God, he wasn’t part God, he was God.
Anything less and God is still distant, and what he has brought to us is far short of the life of God in the soul of man. We have merely been touched by God from a distance. We are left with God ‘up there’ and ourselves ‘down here.’ We are left at a distance and not in union. We are left with the poverty of our life and not the abundance of his.
No, the reality, the truth, of the Christmas message is God has come into our existence. He has crossed the boundary created by our rebellion. He has entered our domain. And with him he brings a life that we did not, could not, have had any other way, the very ‘fullness and life of God.’ It is not a singular life but the life of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The abundant Trinitarian life of God.
Wherever we are, whatever our circumstances, this is the life Jesus brings to us. Not a part life, not a small cramped one, but a large vibrant generous one.