A Different Kind of Hero

I am a nerd about The Hunger Games. Like I read the series in four days nerdy. So, of course, I recently saw the second movie, Catching Fire. And, yes, of course, the book is better. I might add that I will not pretend I have not lived vicariously through this Katniss (that’s one reason we read and watch fiction, right?).  I mean, you have to picture this woman catching fire, literally adorned in flames, emblazoned with determination, laser-like focus on her mission. But, even better, she comes from nothing, a soot-covered mining town filled with oppression. She rises to the call to be free of this hopeless tyranny, and like a phoenix (or perhaps more like a  mockingjay-- add geekiness), she rises from the ashes.  People like this inspire. Coming from nothing and rising up against all odds... is this not who our heroes are? My favorite fairy tales embrace this concept, this nothing-to-something remarkable kind of metamorphosis. And I want too, to be the big dreamer that sees her plan work out. I want to be “Girl on Fire,” “with her head in the clouds…. and her feet on the ground.” (Thank you, Alicia Keys.) Mainly, I’m saying the idea of becoming more and rising-up resonates with me, and I don’t think I speak so boldly when I say it probably resonates with most of humanity.

But I’m kind of being wrapped up in another story, an ancient story, right about now, at Christmas time. Not about rising up, but about the hero of heroes coming down. And my imagination totally fails me to this day, when I think about Emmanuel... God with us. THE CREATOR OF ALL comes down as a baby boy, growing in his mother’s womb, and enters the world the same way most of us did (only most of us not in a barn).

Will you allow your mind to take a seat with me here for a moment? The Creator of all. Pause. See, when I slow down my limited brain and close my eyes and think about what that means, I am still at a loss. I can’t imagine God. Have you ever tried? Sometimes I think of the smallest details of the world and go out from there to the Milky Way, and think about how He created all of it, just to get a grasp of what He is like, but my imagination fails again. He’s too high for me. And He came as an infant? There are no metaphors that give this any justice.

But that’s just it. We can’t get God. We couldn’t behold Him or make our way to Him. That’s why He came down. I can never understand the hugeness, the otherness, the holiness of God. But there is a way (rather The Way) to know Him, to finally behold Him.  This is why Jesus says, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” Jesus is The Way.

Come, let us adore Him. Behold Him, the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. What a wonderful Savior. What a wonderful King. The Creator, He came down to His creation.