Summary: When Mary pressed the soft warm cheeks of baby Jesus to her own, she was touching the face of God. When the shepherds and the wise men came to see Jesus they were seeing the face of God. Christmas is about the face of God.
John Mcgee Jr. wrote the poem High Flight. It is so meaningful to
some pilots, they repeat it as they sit in their planes soaring though
the skies. It goes like this-
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds-and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of-wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.-Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
Flight does link man with the angels but it does not get man any closer to
God. It is only poetic license to say you can fly so high as to touch the face of
God. Man could never reach that high but the message of Christmas is, God
stooped low enough to literally allow men to touch His face.
On Christmas day God did embrace
The planet earth with loving grace,
Making Bethlehem the birth place
Of Jesus who revealed God's face.
When Mary pressed the soft warm cheeks of baby Jesus to her own, she
was touching the face of God. When the shepherds and the wise men came to
see Jesus they were seeing the face of God. Christmas is about the face of
God. Before Christmas God was veiled, and men were not allowed to come
into His presence to see His face. Whenever God did, on rare occasions, let
men see His presence, they were terrified of His glory. But on Christmas God
entered human flesh where men could see Him face to face and not be afraid.
Nothing is less fearful than seeing a baby.
Jesus grew from His baby face childhood to mature manhood, and by
degrees He exposed man to His Deity. Three of the disciples saw the glory of
His divine face on the Mt. of Transfiguration where we read in Matt. 17:2,
"there He was transfigured before them. His face shown like the sun..." This
glory was shown only to a few, for that was not the face Jesus came to show
the world. One day all the redeemed will see their Savior face to face in all
it's splendor. But this is the face He will have in His second coming. His first
coming-His Christmas coming, revealed to us the face of God which is more
practical for life in our fallen world. It was a face of compassion and love; a
face of mercy and understanding. It was the face of a friend.
Christmas is unique in all of history for it was the day God let men see His
face, and begin to know Him as He really is. Jesus was the light of the world,
the light that lit up the face of God for man to see their Creator. This is what
Paul was getting at in verse 6, "for God, who said, let light shine out of
darkness, made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the
knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."
How do we know who God is, and how He feels about us and His lost
world? Where do we go to get this kind of knowledge? Do we go to the
Information Super Highway? No, we go to the face of Christ-the face first
seen on the first Christmas morning.
Robert Coles wrote a fascinating book titled, The Spiritual Life of
Children. He is a Harvard Univ. professor who has written about the inner
life of children like no other author. He has studied children around the
world in all different cultures. One of the things he does is to get children to
draw the face of God. Jewish and Muslim children will not do it, for they are
taught not to make pictures of God. But Christian children all over the world
feel free to make pictures of God. Why? Because for Christians, God has
shown His face to the world in Jesus Christ. All the religions of the world
have invisible gods, but Christianity has a visible God; a God who was seen
and touched. That is what the incarnation was all about. God became visible
in flesh so men could see Him face to face.
Professor Coles has 293 pictures of God, and all but 38 are of His face.
When Christian children visualize God they primarily see His face. All
around the world, artist in every land and culture paint the face of Jesus.