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A glorious paradox - this is ‘so-God’!

4 weeks ago

In his Christmas Blog ReSource's Director, Kevin Roberts, reflects on the paradox that the fulness of God is present in the smallest infant, and asks what this tells us about how God chooses to reveal Himself, and where we might look for Him today.

A glorious paradox - this is ‘so-God’!

The paradox at the heart of Christmas is that the smallest scrap of human life, a newborn child, is filled to the brim with the life of the God who made and sustains all things.

It stretches our imaginations to the limit, that in this child “the fulness of the deity lives in bodily form” [1]. That in the least is the most; in the finite is the infinite; in a child born of a woman, is the One “through whom all things were made” [2].

What a glorious paradox! That the fulness of God is to be found in the smallest space, the least likely place, the most inauspicious place, in humanity’s most vulnerable and fragile vessel, a newborn infant. Here before human eyes is the fulness of God, “contracted to a span, incomprehensibly made man” [3].

One of the many questions this begs is whether this was for the godhead simply a necessary life-stage if the Christ was to be fully like us in order that He could fully save us, or whether taking the form of the smallest and most vulnerable human form tells us something of how God chooses to reveal Himself, in all times and in all places?

The answer of course is both.

He had to be “fully human in every way” in order to make full atonement for our sins [4].

But, to use a modern idiom, this is ‘so-God’, so in keeping with the divine revelation in the old covenant, that we can’t but wonder whether this is the characteristic way, the only way, in which God can reveal His glory because, of all the possible ways, this is the one that most perfectly displays the truth of who God is [5].

If that is correct as I believe it to be, then it will help us to look for God in the right places today. It will also give us a fresh appreciation of the depth and potential that is compressed into the small, fragile human lives and churches in which God dwells by His Spirit. It will help us to look more carefully for the marks of God’s action, and to listen more carefully for the syllables and sentences that carry in them, from perhaps the most unlikely of sources, the deepest wisdom.

In our brash western world, with its cacophony of sounds and obsession with image, so often bereft of substance, just maybe we will find God, and hear God most fully, in those who hesitate to speak, and who are happier in life’s shadows; the least audible, and the least visible; in the least attractive and imposing places and people-groups and churches.

Is this where God is to be found and heard?

Are we too often looking for Him in the wrong places, while He beckons us to a manger in a stable in an unlikely part of town and says to us, if He could only catch our attention for a moment as we rush by, ‘here I am’.  


[1] Colossians 2:9

[2] John 1:3

[3] Charles Wesley in his hymn ‘Let earth and heaven combine’ verse 1

[4] Hebrews 2:17

[5] John 1:14

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The Ven Kevin Roberts

Director and ReSource Minister

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"Excellent. Biblical depth alongside openness to the Spirit and relevant to personal life and calling to ministry. Real and Honest. Inspiring and refreshing!"
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