The Bible tells us that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was pregnant a little sooner than expected.
Her husband-to-be, Joseph, was understandably alarmed by this.
But he was told “do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20).
Christmas is about God coming in human form.
It was to this fact that the Nicene Creed made the bold declaration that Jesus is “very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father”.
The Bible writers speak of Jesus as ‘‘the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being’’ (Heb 1:3).
The apostle Paul describes Jesus as ‘‘the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation’’ (Col 1:15) and in whom ‘‘all the fullness of the deity lives in bodily form’’ (Col 2:9).
But equally so, Jesus was born of Mary.
And this means Jesus was also human. He lived and breathed, he ate and drank, felt both sorrow and happiness — just as any other person would.
Christians are united on this great truth.
We may differ on other things such as baptism, church governance or the return of Jesus.
But we all agree that Jesus was both fully God and fully human.
Anything less removes the very foundation of the Christian message.
It is this truth that we can celebrate at Christmas.
We do not merely celebrate a cute little baby in a manger.
No, in Jesus, we celebrate God breaking into humanity to come to do what no other person could do, reconcile you and I with God; giving us true and lasting peace with him.
~ Contributed by Pastor Chris Taylor of the Deniliquin Baptist Church, on behalf of the Combined Churches of Deniliquin.