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Some times we do things that, well just aren’t too smart. In my case, this seems to happen on a weekly basis. A while back, I heard a noise out near our trashcans and I looked out to see a large raccoon digging for a little midnight snack. This had to be stopped. So the brave hunter I am, I got a little trap out and I was going catch this little dude. I began my vigil the next day. With fierce determination, I laid out the trap to catch the masked critter. Well, the next morning when I went to check the trap, instead of catching a raccoon I had managed to catch a black cat. So I read him his rights, and then released him. The next morning I went out, and I had caught another little cat.
No biggie, so I did the same thing as before. On the very next morning, I looked out to the trap, and I saw this black creature going back and forth. “It’s that silly ‘ol cat again,” I thought, and I went out to release him. When I got closer, that thing turned around and lifted up its tail, and it had a long white streak going right down the center. This wasn’t a cat... this was a skunk!
But instead of running in fear, I felt pity for this poor critter. The poor thing was caught inside this cage, and he was so scared that he was clawing at the ground so fiercely that dirt was piled up all around him. My heart went out to the little guy. So silly me, being the city boy I am, I went and knelt down right next to the cage and opened it up. But the skunk just curled up in the back of the cage and wouldn’t move. He was frozen in fear. So I tilted the trap up just a little and the thing still didn’t move. I thought, “what a silly skunk. Here I was setting him free, but you won’t let me!” This skunk was so terrified of me that he wouldn’t move an inch.
I then tried to talk some sense into the little guy. I began to say, “Come on, Get! Go! Move along!” But the thing wouldn’t listen. It was then that the thought hit me. What if, if only for just for a moment, I could change myself to become a skunk? What if I could get down on his level, to speak his language, to let him know that I wasn’t a bad guy and I really wanted to help him out?
Does that sound absurd? A man becoming a skunk? Now I’ve met some guys who smelt like skunks but to take on its shape, to exchange my flesh for its fur, to limit myself to his limitations, does it sound absurd? If it does, then the following will sound just down right ridiculous to you. God became a man. Let those words sink in for a few seconds. God became a man. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” And vs. 14 then says the amazing, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” This Christmas time, think about just how far God lowered Himself to be with us.
(Barry Robinson is the pastor of Williamstown United Methodist Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 859-823-5171.)