Summary: Merry Christmas! I love Christmas. I love this time of year. I don’t necessarily love the snow, though it is beautiful. It’s beautiful for a while at least! God bless you today. Jesus Christ is Lord today, tomorrow and everyday. I need Him now.
Merry Christmas! I love Christmas. I love this time of year. I don’t necessarily love the snow, though it is beautiful. It’s beautiful for a while at least! God bless you today. Jesus Christ is Lord today, tomorrow and everyday. I need Him now. He reigns over reality and He lives in me. He lives in me, He lives in you, and much more, He reigns over the universe, over all of history, and over reality itself. In fact His presence holds reality together. He is present everywhere.
Christmas is the time when we recall with joy the coming of Jesus into human history. Jesus was born, but the son of God is eternally existent. Before God established time, space, and physical matter, Christ was. And Christ is, and will always be. This is a concept insanely difficult for us as finite beings to understand. To understand infinity would mean setting aside time itself. Yet Christ left timelessness to become finite like us. Why leave aside such glory? Why set aside such majesty? Why come into the world He made?
He'd probably walked in human form before. Angels do it all the time. He exists throughout His universe, without being specifically united to it. Yet He came into the world in the same way we did, as an unborn baby, coming into the womb of his mother, and he was born, on some date, we don’t know what day, it wasn’t necessarily December 25th, though it could’ve been, but in any case, December 25th is the day we recall the fact that Jesus came.
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time being amazed about all of this. It all seems so normal and often repeated that I can’t seem to summon amazement or much wonder. But I’m like that. I’m not easily impressed and I’m often at least a bit pessimistic.
God came in human form? Why is that such a big deal? God can do anything, why does coming in human form mean so much? I’m not sure exactly. It’s mysterious and beautiful. It’s also quite simple. Jesus was born, in Bethlehem, in the middle east, about two thousand years ago. I wish I had video of this event, I’m a visual learner, that’s how I understand things. When I think in my mind’s eye, if you know what I mean, I see visuals. I’m a visual learner and a visual thinker. Audio is secondary, I learn by hearing. Last of my abilities to learn comes in the written form. So it’s really hard to understand this from reading it off a page.
But in Luke we see this event play out in beautiful form, in Luke chapter two you see this event play out. And there are flocks of sheep in these hills. It’s at night, probably very dark. I wonder what kind of night it was? Was it particularly cold? Was there dew settled on the ground? Were the sheep loud that night or were they eerily silent? Was it like one of those nights that make you feel like a blanket of darkness is wrapped around you and you feel oddly safe in the failing light? I bet it was just like that. I bet there was a sense of anticipation in the air, like the moment before a storm, when everything is charged with energy and pressure. Sometimes the anticipation is greater than the release, and you feel exhausted once the storm begins. But I suppose at this event it would’ve been quite different.
Was there a wind blowing through the valley? Or was it totally still? Many were probably caught off guard completely, but I bet there was one or two who felt or knew deep down something special was about to happen. I’ve known people like that, they seem to have a sixth sense for how time and history play themselves out. Yet I’ve also known people who dream about things that are to come. Think of Pontius Pilate’s wife who warned him that she had been having dreams about Jesus and pleaded with Pilate to not harm Jesus. Maybe there was a dreamer there that night. Maybe not.
The glory of God cuts forth into reality that night. And what’s the reaction of the shepherds? Total fear. They are so afraid. That’s the common reaction, fear and trembling at the incredible glory of God. They are shocked. I wonder what it was like. The glory of God is an interesting concept when looked at topically in the scriptures. It’s woven through the books of the Bible like a beautiful mystery. It seems to be the presence of God at least partially unvarnished.
Jesus came not in full glory, but in human form and there was nothing about him physically that distinguished him from other people. So the world didn’t recognize him. They couldn’t understand it. For those who did, they feared it, and they tried to kill him. But for others they celebrated his coming and welcomed it.