Yes. These first five days December I’ve riffed on the five senses. This is no accident. It’s by design. Hearing, tasting, smelling, seeing, and touching are Christian virtues. Why? Because God made them. The Christian religion is not an exercise in spiritual daydreaming. God, in Christ, was making man new (2 Cor. 5:19).
The serpent promised that by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that man would become as God. However, rather than ascending into god-ness, mankind became less than human, not more. When Adam fell he brought the whole human race crashing down with him. Mankind was unmanned.
At Christmas we celebrate the fact that God took on flesh and dwelt among us (Jn. 1:14). He didn’t appear to take on flesh (an ancient heresy), nor was he a normal human being whom God decided was good enough to use (another ancient heresy). No, Jesus was God become man. The baby Jesus nursed. He wore swaddling clothes (i.e. diapers). He cried. He had those razor sharp fingernails that babies have. Jesus was a complete human. And he grew (Luke 2:52), the way every human child does.
I referenced this verse in a previous devotional, but it bears repeating with the emphasis placed on a different phrase.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;1 John 1:1
In other words, the Apostle John was writing to early Christians who, very likely, never saw Jesus or shook His hand. But John had. John had leaned upon the breast of Christ at the Last Supper. John was a witness to both the humanity and divinity of the Lord. He had touched the eternal Word of life. The Apostles’ message wasn’t that of escape from humanness; rather, it was that God had sent His Son Jesus to be our propitiation, that we might have fellowship with God, the source of life. Their message was that God and man were being reconciled in this Man who was God. As the Belgic Confession teaches, Christ was “true God in order to conquer death by his power, and true man that he might die for us in the weakness of his flesh.”
So, Christmas is not a celebration of the esoteric. It is a time to be truly human. For God sent His Son, wrapped in the dust of human flesh, in order that we might “lay hold on eternal life (1 Tim. 6:12).” And the child born in Bethlehem was the “true God and eternal life (1 Jn. 5:20).” Christmas is God’s invitation to lost mankind to become human. Which is why our hands should make and wrap presents, hold a mug, give a warm hug, get them covered in flour and sugar making cinnamon rolls, and go to church each Sunday to hold in our hands and eat with our mouths the bread and wine which reminds us of the body and blood of Christ. Our Brother and our Savior.