The “season of light”, we call it and for good reason.  After all the nonsense we read and hear and put up with everyday, there are moments that take us back and lift us up and set our minds right; even if for just a moment.  All of the emotions are honest.  This is cute and sweet and the children might be embarrassed in 10 years if they see the pictures.  Every time I witness one of these I think the same way – cute and sweet and honest.  Then my mind moves back to a real baby lying in a real manger.  God in the flesh.  God come to our world to be one of us.  What was the point?

In 1519, when he was writing a treatise on Holy Communion, Luther said, “Christ, by His love, takes upon Himself our form, strives with us against sin, death, and all evil: This enkindles in us such love that we take His form, rely on His righteous life and blessedness, and through the interchange of His blessings and our misfortunes, we are one loaf, one bread, one body, one drink, and have all things in common.”

And a little later he writes  this breathtaking  passage – “Again, through this same love, we are to be changed and to make the infirmities of all other Christians our own, take upon ourselves their form and their necessity, and all the good that is within our power, we are to make theirs, that they may enjoy it. In this way, we are changed into one another and brought into fellowship with one another by love, without which there can be no such change.”