Jim Bramlett (30 Mar 2014)
"The Mystery of Diety"

Dear friends:

Some people wonder that if God wants people to believe in Him, He would just appear in the sky, declare Himself, and tell people to believe or else.  Logical, right?

That may be human logic, but it is not God's way, partially explained by the following essay. 
_________________________________________________                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The Mystery of Deity

In the filthiest place in the world, a stable, Purity was born.  He,  Who was later to be slaughtered by men acting as beasts, was born among beasts.  He, Who would call Himself the "living Bread descended from Heaven," was laid in a manger, literally, a place to eat.  Centuries before, the Jews had worshiped the golden calf, and the Greeks, the ass.   Men bowed down before them as before God.  The ox and the ass now were present to make their innocent reparation, bowing down before their God.

There was no room in the inn, but there was room in the stable.  The inn is the gathering place of public opinion, the focal point of the world's moods, the rendezvous of the worldly, the rallying place of the popular and the successful.  But the stable is a place for the outcasts, the ignored, the forgotten.  The world might have expected the Son of God to be born--if He was to be born at all--in an inn.  A stable would be the last place in the world where one would have looked for Him. Divinity is always where one least expects to find it.

No worldly mind would ever have suspected that He Who could make the sun warm the earth would one day have need of an ox and an ass to warm Him with their breath; that He Who, in the language of Scriptures, could stop the turning about of Arcturus who would have His birthplace dictated by an imperial census; that He, Who clothed the fields with grass, would Himself be naked; that He, from Whose hands came planets and worlds, would one day have tiny arms that were not long enough to touch the huge heads of the cattle; that the feet which trod the everlasting hills would one day be too weak to walk; that the Eternal Word would be dumb; that Omnipotence would be wrapped in swaddling clothes; that Salvation would lie in a manger; that the bird which built the nest would be hatched therein--no one would ever have suspected that God coming to this earth would ever be so helpless. And that is precisely why so many miss Him.  Divinity is always where one least expects to find it.  

If the artist is at home in his studio because the paintings are the creation of his own mind; if the sculptor is at home   among his statues because they are the work of his own hands; if the husbandman is at home among his vines because he planted them; and if the father is at home among his children because they are his own, then surely, argues the world, He Who made the world should be at home in it.  He should come into it as an artist into his studio, and as a father into his home; but, for the Creator to come among His creatures and be ignored by them, for God to come among His own and not be received by His own; for God to be homeless at home--that could only mean one thing to the worldly mind; the Babe could not have been God at all. And that is just why it missed Him.  Divinity is always where one least expects to find it.

The Son of God made man was invited to enter His own world through a back door.  Exiled from the earth, He was born under the earth, in a sense, the first Cave Man in recorded history.  There He shook the earth to its very foundations.  Because He was born in a cave, all who wish to see Him must stoop.  To stoop is the mark of humility.  The proud refuse to stoop and, therefore, they miss Divinity.  Those, however, who bend their egos and enter, find that they are not in a cave at all, but in a new universe where sits a Babe on His mother's lap, with the world poised on His fingers.

The manger and the Cross thus stand at the two extremities of the Savior's life!  He accepted the manger because there was no room in the inn; He accepted the Cross because men said, "We will not have this Man for our king."  Disowned upon entering, rejected upon leaving, He was laid in a stranger's stable at the beginning, and a stranger's grave at the end.  An ox and an ass surrounded His crib at Bethlehem; two thieves were to flank His Cross on Calvary.  He was wrapped in swaddling bands in His birthplace, He was again laid in a swaddling clothes in His tomb--clothes symbolic of the limitations imposed on His Divinity when He took a human form.

Only two classes of people found the Babe: the shepherds and the Wise Men; the simple and the learned; those who knew that they knew nothing, and those who knew that they did not know everything.  He is never seen by the man of one book; never by the man who thinks he knows.  Not even God can tell the proud anything!  Only the humble can find God!

Much of the above is taken from the outstanding book, "Life of Christ," by Fulton J. Sheen, McGraw-Hill,  1958.