God sent His only begotten Son into the world by way of a manger–a sort of tub that farm animals ate out of. But if God had been a man, if God had been like us, He would have done it differently.
Instead of bothering with shepherds, He would have had His angels appear on the White House lawn or Rockefeller Center. It would’ve been quite a show.
Instead of a manger, He would have provided a sprawling, towering palace sheathed in gold, with really nice marble statues, guards in fancy uniforms, an army of servants, trumpets blowing… the works.
Instead of a baby, He would have sent the Son to earth in the form of a dazzlingly handsome man, eight feet tall, with muscles on top of his muscles, diamond tie-tacks galore, way smarter than anybody else, with all the good intentions in the world–
And there would have been no Cross, no rejection by the authorities–
And none of it would have worked worth a damn, because Christ would have become just another celebrity among celebrities, a leader who scared half of the people to death and made himself just plain odious to the other half; who would have forced good things on us until we were sick of them; a Nero without the fiddle…
No, it wouldn’t have worked at all.
God, praise God, knew better than we will ever know. That’s why He sent us a baby in a manger.