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Advent day 13
December 11: Isaiah 42:1-13
Luci Shaw, “Descent” 
Down he came from up,
and in from out,
and here from there.
A long leap,
an incandescent fall
from magnificent
to naked, frail, small,
through space,
between stars,
into our chill night air,
shrunk, in infant grace,
to our damp, cramped
earthy place
among all
the shivering sheep.
And now, after all,
there he lies,
fast asleep.
When was the last time you thought about the incarnation? It might’ve been recently, since as we prepare for Christmas, many Advent reflections are focused on this event of the Nativity: Jesus, the Son of God, fully God himself, becoming fully man. But have you ever taken time to pause and reflect on the little details of what this means? 
Growing up, one of my favorite Christmas songs was “This Baby” by Steven Curtis Chapman. It ignited my imagination to think about how Jesus was like me. As I’ve gotten older, the core themes of that song still resonate with me. In my time studying theology, I’ve continued to be drawn into this fascination about Christ’s incarnation. 
When we think about ‘where’ heaven is, even though most of us know it’s not in the sky, there is a sense of heaven being far off. Christ, in his coming, brings Heaven to us. In his coming, he exists as a ‘thin space’ where heaven and earth are one. No longer is heaven a far off distant place somewhere in the stars, but it is here, in our own hearts. God has drawn near to us. He, who seems so distant, has come close. What a comforting truth to embrace. 
There’s a sister poem to this one that I’ll write on next week, hopefully going a bit deeper into some of these themes. But one last key piece to note is that, not only should we marvel and wonder at Christ’s descent, not only should we take comfort in his presence with us, we who are followers and imitators of Christ are invited into that same descent. Where might God be inviting you, to lower yourself? In your pride? Your status? And in this descent, where can you join God in the work he is already doing, to love and serve your neighbor? 
ART: James B. Janknegt, Nativity