Here it is – almost Christmas. We’re in the mist of rushing around shopping for the perfect gift for loved ones, preparing special foods, decorating our homes. Retailers are hoping for that last minute surge of buying to bolster their lagging sales year. Christmas lights brighten homes, businesses and the streets. Radio stations are playing non-stop Christmas music. Children are anxiously waiting for that jolly fat man in the red suit to bring them their deepest wishes. Parents are waiting for the bills to start coming in and worrying over how to pay for all this joy.
For believers, Christmas is much more. Yes, we can fully enjoy the parties, the music, the lights and the gifts. God wants us to celebrate and takes delight in our excitement as long as we remember the reason we’re celebrating. Christ. The very essence of Christmas. God’s anointed one in the flesh come to live among us. The gospel writers Matthew and Luke give written accounts of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. But John goes back to the beginning.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-5, 14.
Jesus’ existence did not begin in a stable in Bethlehem. His existence was from the beginning of all creation. He was there when God said “Light be!” (Gen 1:3) He was there in the Garden of Eden when Adam fell. He was the “I AM” who sent Moses to deliver Israel from captivity. God’s plan from the beginning for all mankind to have a savior and deliverer was brought forth in that Babe in the Manger.
As believers we celebrate not only the birth of Jesus Christ, but His life. Sinless, perfect, a sacrificial lamb without spot or blemish. We celebrate that God gave the greatest gift of all to mankind – His own son, God Himself made flesh to live among us and to be the sacrifice that alone was sufficient to remove our sin for all eternity. And we celebrate His first coming with anticipation for His soon return – not in a lowly manger, but as the Lord of Glory coming to take His place as Ruler of all creation.
Glory to God in the highest and Peace on Earth to all men.