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Only God could have conceived this story. Creation goes bad, justice must be satisfied, the debt paid. But that debt is so great that there is no way for us, the debtors, to ever begin to pay it, ever. And so the One to whom the debt is owed pays that terrible price, so that justice may be served even as mercy triumphs.
God always knew this is how things would play out, and still He went through with all of it, creation, the garden, the flood, a chosen people, captivity, redemption, captivity, redemption and on and on. Until one silent night the promise of the ages was kept. But not in a way that anyone would have ever imagined.
An unwed teenage girl conceived. Her suspicious fiancé marries her. Together they travel to a town far away where there are no rooms available and so she must give birth in a stable. That is not the end of the story, but somewhere in the middle. But it is such a crucial part of this tale that all of history is measured by that singular event and divided into the time before it and the time after it.
And so we celebrate it, year after year. And we wait for the one who took on our flesh and bore our sins to return and call us all home to be with Him forever.