In high school I was a huge fan of the TV show Seinfeld. There is a classic episode where Jerry and his girlfriend refer to each other in baby voices as “Schmoopy.” Each time the couple lisps this term of endearment to each other, the viewers cringe (and chuckle). The show pokes fun at how annoying it is when adults speak in baby-talk. However, there are times when baby-talk can be helpful. Maybe not of the high-pitched, made-up-word variety; but the lowering of intellectual prowess to connect with another certainly comes in handy when trying to connect with kids.
One could argue that the incarnation is divine baby-talk. It’s the creator God of the universe lowering himself to connect with and ultimately redeem his creation. It’s the very thing good teachers do. They strive to make content true, understandable, and relatable. And this is exactly what Jesus does! The Word gets down on all fours lisping and speaking baby talk so that we little children can all understand. Jesus lowered himself and became human so that humans could relate to God. Pause for a moment and think about what a profound truth that is: God wants you to know that he knows what it’s like to be you.
It’s because of the incarnation that we can trust God knows what it’s like to be human – and because he can relate, we’re safe when we run to him. The author of Hebrews highlights this by writing, For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16). Trusting that Jesus can relate is a healing balm for our weary souls. He knows, cares and calls us to himself.
The God in the manger lisps “Schmoopy” to all humanity. It’s a declaration of unwavering love that calls us forward and beckons us to respond. Today, the best way you can respond to the incarnation might be in trusting that he knows the feelings of brokenness, pain, and need that you’re walking through. Spend a few minutes today and cast your cares on Jesus; picture him holding them and you while he whispers in your ear, “I understand, and I love you.”