Here is the confluence of a Bruce Cockburn song (released 1988), and an excerpt from Brennan Manning. Manning begins the last chapter of his book “Lion and the Lamb: The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus” (written 1986) with these words:
Do you think you could contain Niagara Falls in a teacup? Is there anyone in our midst who pretends to understand the awesome love in the heart of the Abba of Jesus that inspired, motivated, and brought about Christmas? The shipwrecked at the stable kneel in the presence of mystery.
God entered into our world not with the crushing impact of unbearable glory, but in the way of weakness, vulnerability, and need. On a wintery night in an obscure cave, the infant Jesus was a humble, naked, helpless God who allowed us to get close to Him…
As Bernard of Clairvaux wrote, “Only he who has experienced [His love] can believe what the love of Jesus Christ is.” You could no more easily catch a hurricane in a shrimp net than you can understand the wild, relentless, passionate, uncompromising, pursuing love of God made present in the manger.
This Christmas, may you be shipwrecked at the stable door.