12 Days of Christmas Countdown – DAY ELEVEN

 – Invitation to A Love Story in Disguise –

A love story in disguise

What does a guy in a panda suit have to do with Christmas?  Quite a lot, actually.

 This past week there was an article in the news about a researcher in China who dressed up like a panda in order to give a 4-month-old panda cub his physical exam.  This cub is the first at the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center to be trained for reintroduction into the wild, and the researchers want to ensure the cub’s environment is devoid of human influence.

So what does this have to do with Christmas?  Well, it amazed me what lengths the reseracher at this Conservation Center has gone to in order to care for and protect this young cub.  He even went to the ridiculous length of wearing a panda costume so as to guard the cub and appear in a form that the cub could relate to.

Sound familiar?  It should.

The God of the universe went to even more ridiculous lengths to guard and protect us, and appear in a form we could relate to.  Philippians 2:7 tells us that Jesus “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”

Just as the researcher came to the cub in disguise, the baby in that manger was God in disguise, dressed in flesh and blood.  If we were to truly see God in all His glory – in His true likeness – none of us could survive it.  So in the ultimate demonstration of love, God humbled Himself and took on the garb of humanity so that we would recognize Him, and not be consumed by His overwhelming holiness.  He looked like us, talked like us, and actually was like us in every way – but without sin.

Jesus was a helpless, dependent baby who burped and drooled and relied on His mother for food.  Yet he was so much more than simply human.  He was divinity wrapped in flesh.  God in disguise – so that we could relate to Him and know Him.  What an amazing love story!

Tonight there is a little panda cub in China who is being treated to a much milder version of this story.  For the love of a panda, researchers never reveal their true form.  For the desire for this cub’s safety and well-being, his caretakers come to him in a form he can recognize.  God has gone to even more ridiculous lengths to communicate His love for us.  He left the glory of heaven so that He could “move into the neighborhood,” as The Message paraphrase says in John 1:14. 

Today as you prepare for Christmas, remember how much God loves you and what lengths He has gone to in order to be near you, to speak your language.  Take a quick moment right now to thank Him for His incredible gift of coming in disguise 2,000 years ago so that He could speak His love into your life today.  And then keep your eyes open throughout the day, as God continues to come to us in disguise to shower us with love.  It may show up in the kindness of a stranger or the encouragement of a friend.  But if you’ll look past His many disguises today, you will certainly see Him.

1 Comment

  1. Patty Licata

    I will have to read this to Dominic. I think he, like me, will gain a better understanding of His love for us, and just how thankful and blessed we really are. Thanks again Linda!

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