Whether you’ve seen a sign like this or simply heard about it, the idea of mounding snow with a sign that reads “FREE SNOWMEN” or SNOWMEN FOR SALE CHEAP” with the caveat *assembly required is good humor. I suppose it is funnier to me sitting in 70 degrees in January Florida than to some of you who are already weary from the snow removal that seems never-ending at times.
During Advent, Joel Hunter (my pastor at Northland) reminded us often that one aspect of the incarnation we sometimes ignore is that Jesus came *some assembly required. He was born. An infant. He had to be taught to feed himself. Mary and Joseph potty-trained the Messiah. He had to learn language. I’m sure his earthly father had to teach him how to measure twice and cut once. Why would the creator of all that is created subject himself to this humiliation. The one who measures the galaxies with his fingers now whacking his fingers with a hammer.
The Bible doesn’t give us much information about this assembly season. We have the birth. We have the gifts from magi a couple of years later followed almost immediately by an escape to Egypt and temporary refugee status. We know the family returned to Joseph’s homeland in time and then there is the Jerusalem-at-12 incident. Not much for 30 years of *assembly.
I hesitate to imagine what life with Jesus was like in those years–at least hesitant to declare what must have been since we really do not know and God could have included these details had he considered them important for us. Still, I take comfort in knowing that Jesus experienced the growing pains of, well, growing. He had to learn to learn. While I’m confident that he knew no sin, I’d expect that he made mistakes (and there is a difference and this is why I get kind of nutso when we call that which is clearly “sin” a “mistake…but i digress).
I trust him more, somehow, knowing that he had to grow up. Knowing that he invested years growing in wisdom and strength. (Luke 2:40)