Posted by: Phil Anderson | December 15, 2013

In My Own Story

Christmas is approaching rapidly, and I’ve already heard a few sermons and Bible lessons about the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The Son of God became a man, was born as a baby in Bethlehem, and lived among us. And it’s important to point out that he was not part God and part man, he was fully both (in theological terms, the hypostatic union).

This can be a difficult thing to understand. It’s good that God is beyond our understanding, otherwise he wouldn’t be an awesome God. But during a recent lesson by Pastor Mike, a lightbulb went off over my head. I had an epiphany: Jesus can be both, because God and man are not on the same continuum.

Let me analogize it this way. Hot chocolate can be any shade of brown, from light that is almost white to a dark chocolatey color. At the same time it can come in any temperature, from cold to lukewarm to boiling hot. I never wonder how my hot chocolate can be dark brown and very hot at the same time. Why is it so hard to understand that Jesus Christ is fully man at the same time he is fully God? They are two different things, not even on the same scale.

As I consider Christ’s incarnation in light of my own writing and my analogy of God as an author, I wonder how it would work to write a story with myself as a character. Not a character that resembles me or is based on me (all of them are to some degree), but myself as the writer in my own story. Of course my work is fiction and my creations are not real. But if it were possible, I would have to acknowledge that my own existence as a character depends completely on my position as the writer. I would be more patient and tolerant of challenging events, already knowing the outcome and seeing their place in the overall narrative. I would relate differently to other characters, understanding their backstory and encouraging them to fulfill their purpose for existing.

I don’t intend for my characters to know me, or even acknowledge me. But in addition to doing the things I just mentioned, Jesus made sure to point people toward God. So as you celebrate Christmas, don’t be so distracted by the baby that you miss the creator who put himself into our story.

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