Recently my husband and I heard a WWII veteran talk about his experiences in a Japanese POW camp where he was allowed to write home once a month. Since his parents had moved while he was being shipped overseas, he sent his letters marked "general delivery."
His captors, with their limited grasp of English, assumed he was writing to a military general and tossed all of his letters in the wastebasket. It was years before his family knew he was still alive. One little word led to one major misunderstanding.
The Bible tells us that Jesus was the “Word made flesh”. He must have seemed like a harmless little word when he arrived as a baby, but as he grew and began to fulfill his Father’s purposes, He became downright dangerous to the Jewish leadership. They couldn’t understand God’s definition of a humbling, suffering Messiah. Even today we have trouble wrapping our minds around the mystery of God “veiled in flesh”. One of the joys of the Christmas season is singing hymns that grapple with this truth.
In 1639 Thomas Pestel wrote:
Hark, hark, the wise eternal Word,
Like a weak infant cries!
In form of servant is the Lord
And God in cradle lies.
(Amazing words! Amazing gift! See the whole hymn here.)