Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Philippians 2:7 “He became like one of us.” (Contemporary English Version)

Hudson Taylor, the famous missionary to China, left England on September 19, 1853 and arrived in Shanghai, China on March 1, 1954. Do the math. It took five months to make the trip. Today, we can get to the moon faster than that. Taylor’s passion to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the little known Chinese people drove him to go where others had never gone and do what others had never done. 

When Taylor died 51 years later, he had brought into China over 800 missionaries, established 20 mission stations, trained over 700 Chinese leaders, raised more than four million dollars, raised up a church of 125,000, and personally baptized at least 50,000. This happened in 19th century conditions when things moved at a turtle’s pace. 

What was Hudson Taylor’s secret? 

He became like them. 

Taylor didn’t love or establish or preach the gospel to the Chinese as a wise Westerner. He did something unheard of in his time. He clothed himself in Chinese dress, wore his hair like a national, and, for all practical purposes, became Chinese. He became one of them. 

And they believed. By the thousands, they believed. 

Today, Christians in China are forced to worship underground, yet they’re the largest church on the planet! Some estimate there could be 200 million Christians there. Two hundred million! The Christian population in China could equal two-thirds of the total population of the United States!

Hudson Taylor discovered a secret. He became Chinese so they could comprehend Jesus. Taylor didn’t come up with the ingenious plan. It was God’s idea in the first place. God became like one of us and today we call that occasion Christmas.

Every now and then I have a hard time wrapping my mind around God’s bigness. Sometimes I’m too zapped from the battle of life to grasp how enormous He is. When I’m worn out, it’s tough to be a God-thinker. I know, God’s sheer size should comfort me, but sometimes it simply overwhelms me. Kind of like Bill Gates trying to explain his net worth to me. I don’t get.

To help wimpy people like me God did the unheard of. He became like me. 

Think of it. Like me. Like you. Us! 

Animals. Mangers. A starry night. Sheep. Farmers (“Shepherds”). A baby. A pregnant woman. Guests showing up to see the newest addition to the family. These I understand. 

He became like one of us. 

God knew we could never comprehend His vastness, so He showed us how much he loved us and wanted to be near us by coming to us in our littleness. Even when I’m weary, I understand. I get it. 

Some say they’ll only believe when they see how big God is. God’s plan, however, was to save us by becoming like us, yet without sin. The Savior of the world, God, became little on purpose because even I can understand a baby’s love.

When Hudson Taylor became Chinese, the Chinese believed. 

When God became a baby, I believed. 

And of all the truths in Scripture, this one, for me, is a really BIG deal.

Merry Christmas!

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