“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…Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” John 1:14;16-18
As I write this, we are just one week away from Christmas Day -Are you ready?? I’ve heard and used (and asked myself) those three words in many conversations over the past week. Of course the question refers to the hustle and bustle of the season – getting the Christmas tree up and the house decorated, buying gifts for friends and family, sending out holiday cards (one I didn’t get around to this year – ughh), and planning parties and gatherings with loved ones. Let’s face it, in America, the Christmas season is more about being “a super busy month” than “a silent night.” It’s kind of sad that Emmanuel, God with us, has to compete with the commercialization of His coming to earth. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE all the traditions of the holidays, but if I’m honest with myself, those traditions become my focus rather than the miracle of God coming to earth as a baby in a manger. It’s something I’ve been thinking about. A LOT.
I believe the real question I should be asking myself (and others) is am I ready for the real “reason for the season”? Am I ready to celebrate, not just Christmas, but the birth of Christ? Am I ready to quiet my flesh so my soul can rejoice about and reflect on the amazing love of God, who left His heavenly home to come to this fallen earth – if I take the time to meditate on that thought alone it’s really mind blowing. It should bring me to my knees in awe and my lips to praise!
This baby in a manger, “the One and only Son who is Himself God,” came so you and I could be saved from ourselves and our sinful nature. Jesus came so we could have a perfect, holy, loving example to strive to follow as we live our lives. He came so the veil in the temple could be torn and we could approach His holy throne in confidence. He came so the Holy Spirit could come and reside within each of us. And Jesus ultimately came so you and I could spend eternity with Him in a place He has prepared for those who love Him (“where no eye has seen and no ear has heard and no mind has conceived of” 1 Cor. 2:9). Amazing, isn’t it??
The first 18 verses in the book of John (I’ve listed a few above) are some of my favorite that describe the birth of Jesus – “the Word became flesh…full of grace and truth…to lavish grace in place of grace already given.” I read these verses in John and I feel unworthy, yet completely forgiven, humbled, yet fully accepted, overwhelmed, yet immensely loved. How do you feel when you read them?? I’d love for you to comment and let me know. Your words can help each of us prepare our hearts so we CAN BE READY for the celebration of His coming. Whether you feel led to share or not, I pray the next seven days bring you (and me) a little closer to God and more in love with Him than ever before. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6)
I send each of you hugs this holiday and a big Merry “Christ”mas!! Katie