In the midst of the familiar, we miss the extraordinary!
The story of Christmas is so much more meaningful than carols or presents or trees or decorations or Christmas films. The story of Christmas is more than the birth of a special baby under special circumstances.
The Story of Christmas is God came to us!
This is mind-blowing! God revealed Himself as a person, and he began this journey as a baby! He could have come riding on a white horse! He could have overthrown the Roman Empire. Instead, the King of Kings emptied himself to be a baby and ultimately took on evil, sin, and death by willingly dying on the cross and won by rising from the dead.
In the midst of the familiar, don’t miss the extraordinary.
I understand it is confusing. How can there be one God – if there is a Father, a Son, and a Spirit?
The Creator of the universe – three persons in one?
Some have even struggled to have follow Jesus because they have a hard time understanding how He can be both God and human.
To help us understand who He is, the Scriptures use words like Father and Son and Spirit, but sometimes that just adds more confusion.
But think about it for a moment: it makes sense that God would be beyond description.
“God, however, lives without the limitations of a three-dimensional universe. He is spirit. And he is infinitely more complex than we are. That is why Jesus the Son can be different from the Father. And, yet the same. The Bible clearly speaks of: God the Son, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit. But emphasizes that there is only ONE God. If we were to use math, it would not be, 1+1+1=3. It would be 1x1x1=1. God is a triune God.” – author unknown
In order to understand the nature of the Triune God consider the following analogies:
- I’m one person known as a father, son, and brother.
- The Sun is one entity expressed as a star, light, and heat.
- H20 can take the form of water, ice, and steam. It is the same essence taking different forms.
- Recently I saw a picture of a fidget spinner – one spinner with three parts.
Their relationship and how they work in unity yet they are One:
- All things are “from the Father”, “through the Son” and “in the Holy Spirit”
- God the Father’s breath is the Spirt and His Word is Jesus. – Tim Mackie
- Pray to God the Father in the power of God the Spirit, in the name or by the authority and the merit of God the Son.
- “The Father gave the Son, the Son offered himself on the Cross, and the Holy Spirit brought us to Jesus.” – Ray Pritchard
“If God was SMALL enough for you to completely understand him,
He wouldn’t be BIG enough for you to completely trust him.” – RickWarren
Ultimately, we have to ask ourselves, do we really want to know God even if we do not fully understand Him? Are we willing to step out in faith even in the midst of uncertainty and mystery?
If so, then…
- Don’t let other people’s hypocrisy rob you from what God intends for
- Let God reveal to you who He is rather than believe what others have said about Him.
- Let God reveal to you who He is rather than all what others have done to misrepresent him get in your way.
- Seek Him in this season! Read the Gospel of John this week – just 3 chapters a day and completed in 7 days!
The Baby Jesus vs. The King
We like baby Jesus because He doesn’t interrupt our plans. Babies are cute – especially if they aren’t ours.
The baby Jesus grew up to become the King of King who sacrifices on our behalf. He took on evil, sin, and death and won by rising from the dead.
Jesus is a King worthy of our obedience. As we follow Him, we die to ourselves. As we follow Him, we lose our lives in serving Him and serving others. That’s how we find our lives.
The eyewitnesses who witnessed the life of Jesus describe Him as far more than a baby in the manger. Several examples include Philippians 2, John 1, Hebrews 1 among many others.
Jesus was more than a great teacher, a healer, a Rabbi, or even a martyr.
Consider this description of Jesus:
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—” – Colossians 1:13-22 NIV
Jesus is the Creator!
Jesus is God made visible!
Jesus brings peace with God to humanity!
Jesus is the first to be reborn as a new creation!
Jesus reconciles us with God!
“The true nature of God is a relationship. The expression of Jesus to humanity is the extension of that relationship.” – Joe Slawter
“In a world so devoid of grace, the concept of Emmanuel – “God with us” is foreign. We are creatures who turned against our Creator. Yet, we were furiously pursued by a God who took on our flesh and walked among us, sympathizing with our pain and dying for our sin.” – Andrew Voigt
One final illustration to help us comes from A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken.
If you are an author or someone who likes to read, this may help. When an author writes a story, all of the characters have a piece of him or her. They make decisions informed by the author. Say an author writes himself or herself into the story. He or she exists outside of the book but also inside of the book.
God is writing a story, and we are in it. All of us have the image of God and the Spirit of God is actively pursuing us to restore us, forgive us, and heal us.
He wrote Himself into the story. That’s Jesus.
God is the author of creation. He wrote himself into the story as Jesus. His Spirit influences his characters (us).
For more on this including an audio message, check out the following: