Even taking into account that it's the Christmas season and all, I've been thinking about Christmas a lot lately. Somehow this year, the story that I've heard a thousand times has taken on new meaning as I've been reflecting. The story that I've glossed over time and time again has suddenly grasped all of my attention.
Will we ever understand the beauty of what happened more than two thousand years ago? Will we ever truly understand its power, and how absolutely unbelievable it is?
All too often, I think, we let the story we've heard all our lives lose its mystery...its wonder. We cease to stand in awe at what truly is the beginning of the most wonderful thing that has ever happened.
Will we ever understand the mystery of God became man?
Think about what our God chose to do--to take upon Himself. He left a place of splendor and wonder to be born among cattle. I know the disdain in which I would look upon living in a stable. I know how I would feel if I had to go from my life to a place where no one knew and recognized me for who I really was. But God, in Christ Jesus, gave it all. He left the most perfect and beautiful place that could ever exist to come down to a world broken and twisted by sin and filth. He left a place where He was given all the glory He truly deserved to come to a world where "He was despised and rejected by men."
And He did it for you. For me. That we might come to Him.
Will we ever understand the sacrifice He made?
He gave up everything. How many kings have given up everything for you? How many men have left their homes for your salvation? If your life is anything like mine, you can't name any earthly person who has done that.
But our God did.
Will we ever understand how filthy and despicable we are without His sacrifice?
We have broken God's law. We are fallen, rebels against a most gracious God. We foolishly choose our own path over and over again, ignoring the consequences.
Will we ever understand why God loves us in spite of ourselves?
Yet in our brokenness and dirt and pain, the God of the universe, rather than pouring out His wrath upon us as we deserve, chose to come in the form of a man. To live in our dirt. To feel our pain. To bear our punishment. And all so that broken rebels might have life in His name.
And it all started here, in a stable in Bethlehem, where the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in a tiny baby who would one day prove that our God is indeed a God who saves.
It is the most wondrous story ever told! We were living in the land of the shadow of death. We deserved nothing but wrath from God, and yet He chose to love us anyway, enough to send a substitute for us.
It's captivating. Riveting. Enthralling.
This Christmas, let's choose to expectantly anticipate what is the beginning of the most beautiful story that ever has been and ever will be told. Let's be purposeful in seeking the One who gave Himself that we might have life to the full.
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined." - Is. 9:2