12/25/17 Matthew 1:22 John 14:6
About 9 years ago we had a post-Christmas cold snap like we’re experiencing now: three plus weeks of temps in the teens or single digits at night with highs not rising above freezing during the day. Along with the usual suspects of bodies of water freezing solid, this prolonged severe cold meant large bodies of water froze thick as well.
Later in January as I was driving on the ridge above the local reservoir on the way to a travel basketball game one Sunday afternoon, through the leafless trees I spotted a herd of deer on the acres big lake created by the dam. The deer seemed to be having a good old time, enjoying their new spacious play area created by the prior month’s freeze. But here in PA this kind of cold is relatively short-lived and we were now hitting 40’s during the day and I couldn’t help but wonder if these unsuspecting deer were in imminent danger of breaking through the ice. I remember thinking – wow, a bunch of these deer could break through the ice at any moment and drown and that would be horrible!
That day I actually thought about how I could possibly warn them of their possible impending doom. I could run down there yelling and screaming but that might spook them into running away from me and toward an area of weaker, melting ice. If I’d stand at the lake’s edge and wave flags like an airport runway guide, they would just think I was ridiculous and no doubt go the other way to avoid me. I could rent a helicopter and come straight down from above and make a grand entrance. But that would cause havoc and disorientation rather than needed direction.
How to best communicate with this heard of ignorant deer was the question.
Then I thought: what if I could become a deer? I could walk slowly onto the ice, become part of the herd, gain their trust, then I may be able to lead them to solid ground where they would be safe from falling through to a watery grave. That might just work…
Why would God become a man? Why the kind of entrance He chose? Why the “incarnation”? I think for some similar reasons. What do you think?