When talking of Christmas miracles several familiar stories come to mind. Many have to do with coming to believe that Santa is real, dogs, and discovering the “true meaning of Christmas.” I want to propose a new Christmas miracle, the incarnation. Incarnation is Latin in origin. The “in” part means the same as it does in English. “Carnation” is familiar to anyone that eats at Mexican restaurants (Taco Bell is not Mexican). Carne asada is a kind of shredded steak that is delicious in tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. “Carne” in Spanish and Latin literally means flesh. Incarnation literally means “in flesh” and the miracle of the incarnation is God putting on human flesh. It is similar to putting a hurricane inside a paper bag. How does an infinite God who created the universe fit in a human body without tearing the paper bag to wet pulp? Likewise how can this God fit in the “bag” without losing a part of who he is? If you can explain it, theologians everywhere want to meet you.
Alongside of this incredible feat is that God would willingly limit himself in this way. Life in heaven with multitudes of angels worshiping you is far different from life as a baby in an animal food trough. That he would leave his royal palace in the sky and be content to walk with grubby, smelly, quarrelling humans is quite shocking and a bit ennobling, something to lift the head of the beggar and humble the mightiest king. Being God he knew the pain he would experience, scrapped knees and death on a cross. Through the incarnation God experienced our sufferings and our joys. He shared in our life and through it shares his eternal life with us. God with us.