This child is god.
Even most Christians can forget how shocking this is. We are more comfortable with the omni-god. The god who is All-Powerful (Omnipotent), All-Knowing (Omniscient) and Self-sufficient (“aseity” in the jargon).
A child is weak, almost entirely ignorant, and entirely reliant on others for their life. And the Christmas message is: this child is god.
And when this child grew up they had lots of time for children. When grown this person even said that to follow them means becoming like a child again.
This is still counter-cultural. Our world is designed for adults not children. Adults are rapidly destroying the world that children will inherit.
“We say we love children; but wars still exist.” – J Krishnamurti.
This god gives freely. That all-knowing, all-powerful, self-sufficient one is not attached to knowledge, power and self-sufficiency – they give it all up. And they give to all, not just their friends, but even to their enemies.
“Your life comes free (you didn’t do anything to earn it)” – me
This god gives of themselves, empties themselves. When we give ourselves to a task or person, or something of interest – so long as we remember we are not god, but finite, ignorant, dependent – this is when we are most alive. A kind of self-forgetfulness is health, we don’t lose the ability to choose but the choice does have a sense of inevitability and even should; we do lose the idea that we are the centre of the universe and it is only our cares and interests that matter. That is: we lose our egotism if not our ego.
This god embraces the physical. The spiritual is made real in the material. Giving not only of ourselves to others, but our goods as well. Caring for others embraces giving stuff as well as giving of ourselves.
This is the Christmas message – not clinging to ourselves and our own stuff. Letting go into life so that we give to others – presents and our presence. This is the way of life abundant.