“The angel answered [Mary, saying], "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35, NASB).
Back in the beautiful orchard on a Friday afternoon, God made male and female in his image. What an astonishing creation—human flesh imaging God!
But before long something horrible happened. Sin destroyed the unity humanity experienced, and all creation was affected by their plunge into sin. One ramification was the distortion of male/female relations. The battle of the sexes began. Loneliness and selfish independence replaced unity and interdependence.
As a consequence of sin, God issued a devastating prediction: woman’s desire would be for man, and man would rule over woman (Gen. 3:15–16). The author of Genesis recorded this traumatic news, and one chapter later, he used the same juxtaposition of “rule” and “desire” to describe the power struggle of sin with Cain’s will (4:7).
But the first Christmas came as a down-payment for breaking the curse. The Spirit “overshadowed” the Virgin. The Father sent the God-man. A male, arrived sans-sperm through a mother’s womb. Human flesh once again perfectly imaged God, only this time that “image of the invisible God” was incarnate in the person of the Son of God.
The very way Jesus came demonstrated male/female interdependence: the human without-a-man mother, the male savior. And through Christ and his Spirit all humans have the reason and the empowerment to overcome selfish independence and regain interdependence (1 Cor. 11:11–12). The God who is all fair abolishes the prejudices that divide us.
In Christ we sing of “God and sinners reconciled.” And that reconciliation is both horizontal and vertical. Because of Christmas we can be reconciled to God. Because of Christmas, we can also be reconciled to one another.