We’ve all done it.
As soon as there is the first Christmas gift under the tree we try to guess what is in it. We assess the size. We pick it up to feel the weight. We shake it gently to determine if it is made up of many parts or just one. We look at the name on the tag. We notice who is the giver…and whatever other clues we can find to try to guess what is in the gift before it is opened.
But the gift is not fully revealed and realized until the paper is ripped off and the present is revealed. The recipient then holds it up to reveal the gift to everyone in the room.
The one reality: the gift can’t be opened until Christmas.
For many that’s what makes Christmas so exciting…all the gifts get to be opened and reveal their glorious reality to all around. Without Christmas…no presents…no opening…nothing exciting to reveal.
Isaiah alludes to another gift that had to wait until the first Christmas to be opened. Sure people tried to size up the promises of the Messiah. They tried to piece together the words of the prophets. They formed their idea of who the Messiah would be, what he would look like and what he would do.
But it wasn’t until Christmas that the full glorious reality of God’s plan was revealed.
Isaiah put it this way (Isaiah 40:5) And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
While the baby Jesus has been born in Bethlehem and his ministry and message is complete and recorded in the Gospels, we still all have a need to see the glory of Jesus and his birth in the manger of Bethlehem.
Because sometimes we still guess about who Jesus is and his significance.
He looks and talks like a good role model – so that’s what he becomes.
WWJD sells bracelets and T-shirts and so Jesus is a good marketing agent for that.
He seems like a good moral teacher, so its practical to follow his message and guidance.
But perhaps we still miss the key part of who Jesus is and why he came into this world.
That’s why God orchestrated Christmas! He wanted us all to see his glory!
First, the amazing, glorious reality that GOD became FLESH.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Second the glorious reality that Jesus came to this earth to be our Savior. He came to live in our place, take our punishment on the cross, and rise victorious to give us the hope and promise of eternal life with him.
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
The great news is you don’t have to wait until Christmas to open this gift, but Christmas is a great day to see the glory and salvation of God revealed…and given to you!
Apply: What aspect of Christmas highlights the glory of God to you the most?
Prayer: Lord God, open our eyes and hearts to see and marvel at your glory this Christmas! AMEN.