“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” John 1:14
What an amazing truth that verse conveys! The Word, which John 1 clearly reveals as Jesus, became human and made His home among us, revealing to us the heart and glory of God Himself.
As we approached Christmas and my thoughts turned to the reason we celebrate this season, the Lord revealed a shocking truth to me. I had lost my sense of awe over the miracle of Jesus’s birth.
Yet, that is not the response we see in scripture. What happens when the shepherds are told that the Savior has been born? They immediately go see Jesus, then they’re so excited that they can’t stop telling everyone they meet about Him. (Luke 2:8-17)
And the wise men? They traveled far – some estimates say thousands of miles… by foot/camel/horse – at great personal risk and expense, just to see the promised Messiah. When they finally find him, what is their response? They were filled with joy and worshipped the child. (Matthew 2:1-11)
And remember Simeon and Anna? Simeon had literally been waiting to see the promised Savior before he died. When he sees the infant Jesus, he praises God, prophesies, and tells God he’s ready to die in peace. Anna praised God and told everyone nearby about this baby Savior.
In all these responses, there’s a common thread. Joy, wonder, amazement, praise. Do you notice what’s missing? Complacency. Apathy. Casual acceptance.
If we dare to step outside our familiar and comfortable world and try to put ourselves into the story, maybe our perspective changes. Can you imagine being a poor, dirty shepherd who lived outside of “civilized” society and then suddenly having a whole host of heavenly angels tell you – yes, you! – about the birth of the long-awaited Messiah? And that this Messiah, who is God Himself, is also in a dirty stable outside of “civilized” society? Can you imagine traveling thousands of miles on foot, facing robbers and bandits and wild animals, likely spending a small fortune on travel expenses, just to see a child for a short time?
This Christmas season, I’ve been praying that God would restore to me the wonder of the Christmas story… and I hope He does the same for you. May you allow the miracle of Jesus penetrate your heart and transform your thinking, for the birth of Jesus quite literally changed everything.
“The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” John 1:4-5