Both he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from One; for which reason he is not ashamed to call them brethren. Hebrews 2:11
To me one of the most wondrous aspects of the incarnation is that when Jesus lived among us, he was not ashamed to be one of us. He shared our weakness and our need, suffering with us the fearful contingencies of our human limitations. So he had (and still has) truly unashamed sympathy for our plight. Even when he realized that he succeeded in passing the tests of faith which we consistently fail, he continued to hold his kinship with us dear; so dear in fact, that he offered his life to propitiate the Father’s just anger for our sin. Because of his identification with us — which Christmas marks so brightly — we can safely approach the Father’s gracious throne expecting mercy and extravagant expressions of his infinite joy; praying:
We come with confidence to seek your grace;
To find the help we need when life is hard;
We come for real mercy in the face
Of failure which has left us worn and scarred.
We come for sympathy when our hearts quail
Before a test of faith which takes away our breath;
We come for strength which fear cannot assail
Despite the certain prospect of our death.
We come because the Christ-child came to earth
To share the depth of our humanity,
The fullness of our finitude and fear.
We come in celebration of his birth,
Who overcame the worst adversity
To gain for us the life which we hold dear.
Hebrews 2:9–18; 4:14–16
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