You may be wondering what foot odor has to do with Christmas. Well, a few Christmas’ ago I got to thinking about the gift of the Christ Child and I realized there’s more to this gift than first meets the eye. So I wrote this little story called The Story Before the Christmas Story.
One day… before the wise men packed their bags, before the angels sang on high … God had to make a decision. (Actually, God doesn’t make decisions, He just knows. But for the sake of the story, we’re going to pretend He had a decision to make.) It was a perfect day in heaven. You see, they are all perfect days in heaven: there’s no bad hair days, or poor air quality days or even heavy traffic days. Everything in heaven is perfect because God is perfect. But on this perfect day, God had to make a decision: Do I go down to earth as a human or do I take a pass and stay here in heaven where it will be perfect again tomorrow? So God decided to do a classic pros vs. cons examination of the situation. Here is what the cons to go down to earth looked like.
Reasons to not go to earth as a human
- I’d have to be a baby. That means diapers and diaper rash, teething and colic, wearing drool or spit up with all my outfits, and being too hot or too cool; too wet or too dry; too hungry or too full and not being able to do anything about it!
- Then I’d have to be a toddler. That means all that falling down when I want to walk and screaming when I want to talk. Being told “No” 3x’s more than I’m told, “Yes”. Placing everything I find within hand’s reach in my mouth whether it’s edible or not.
- Eventually, I would become a little boy. That means taking 2 steps for every one step of my dad’s when I’m trying to keep up. My body would be a constant collection of bumps, bruises, scrapes, and dirt smudges. And having to be with my mom when I want to be with other kids and having to be with other kids when I want to be with my mom.
- Suddenly, I would have to be a big boy. That means finding bodily function sounds the funniest things on earth. Having to wear matching outfits with my little brothers and sisters. And what about that foot odor thing?
- Inevitably, I would have to go through puberty. That means growing so much in one night my bones ache. Having people mistake my voice for my mom’s voice. And instead of growing a nice beard like my dad’s, I end up with those dumb little curls poking out of my chin.
- Finally, I would have to be an adult. I’d be tempted by the devil, misunderstood by everyone, pursued by masses of people, plotted against by religious leaders, and betrayed by a friend. Abandoned by all my love ones. Falsely accused, tried, tortured, mocked, slandered, and crucified.
That’s quite a con list. Who would blame God for taking a pass on all of that? Well, let’s look at the pros.
Reasons to go to earth as a human
So I can spend all eternity with my children whom I love.
- So my children know that a promise is a promise.
Short list. But when it comes right down to it, God grieves at being separated from us. He hungers for the closeness of his children more than any human parent longed for their child. So God chose the diaper rash and the foot odor, the body aches and the baby drool, and He chose to die on the cross for your sins.
The story of Christmas begins with God choosing to spend eternity with you rather than without you. The rest of the Christmas Story is God giving us the only way home to Him…Jesus.