It’s Christmas time! Everywhere you go people are rooting around for gift giving, holiday baking and party planning. I really feel like something is wrong with me this year. My melancholic other side has really kicked in. Normally I am the sanguine, dress me in red and send me off all smiles and laughter…but now it’s different. Oh, I don’t think I am depressed, just rather reflective. I’ve been peering hard into the nativity, listening to the various teaching programs present the story of Christ’s birth and well, really soaking it in. Can it really be that after 28 years as a believer that it has suddenly hit me…that the baby born in a manger…God’s only son…came to die for me and I am just getting it, I mean really getting it? No, I know these things, however it is remarkably different as I just seem to be looking beyond the surface, pondering the very stark reality of this event that we make fuss over year after year.
It has been so good for me to see just how very teeny tiny I am in light of who He is. I am barely capable of even trying to comprehend this God that I am somehow deeply in love with. Itsy, bitsy me knows that the Maker of heaven and earth loves me, desires my affections, and continually walks with me to bring Kimberly His very best, every day. Not only that, the King of the universe, the One who hung the stars in the sky even sings over Kimberly when she is sleeping. I can barely contain myself when I think of that!
The very understanding of these verses in John are so remarkable as they reveal Christ Jesus to us from the first five verses in the book of John:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of Men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
These verses are proof that the Majesty came to invade our world of darkness so that we would no longer be in darkness. He came to provide life where there was only death!
When we read the Christmas story and get to the part of shepherds witnessing the revelation of the birth of Jesus in Luke 2, I am in awe!
“In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
I listened as the Bible teacher from a program we carry on the radio talked about the fact that these shepherds who received this revelation were really the lower class of society in that day. Dirty, stinky, sweaty and probably pretty course in their language, yet God made them privy to the realization of a story told hundreds of years before. They were some of the first to witness this baby born in a disgusting cave filled with animal refuse and dirt. How can it be? And how can it be that God has allowed one like me or even you, to come to know Himself as Trinity? This amazing event gave us the reality of the Creator Himself! If that doesn’t humble you just a bit then pinch yourself to make sure you are really here!
My past has been an ugly stumbling block to receiving God’s amazing grace. It has held me captive with unbelief that God could love me because of _________ (go ahead and fill in the blank if you can identify.) Maybe this Christmas is a year where after almost 29 years of having known “Christ as my savior”, that I am able to freely receive what was given to me over 2000 years ago. Not because of something I have done, but because I now realize that my Creator invaded my messy life and pierced my heart with His love. Like the unlikely shepherds who were given the revelation of Jesus birth, I too am the unlikely to receive this gift of love.
It could be that you have gone through the motions year after year like I did without really internalizing the actuality of God becoming flesh, to dwell among us, then to die so that we might live. It is simple yet complex and as one song puts it “what a strange way to save the world”! I have looked at myself as the most unlikely and accepted His love which completely invaded my messy life and this has given me hope for my tomorrows! Peer deeply into the manger scene and ask God to give you His perception of what this “Christmas celebration” is really all about. Then like me you can truly rejoice in the Savior that has come. May His Christmas blessing be yours!
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”