“Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting Light.”
(from “O Little Town of Bethlehem”)
He came unto His own, but His own did not receive Him.” (John 1:11) If we could capture all of the meaning of Christmas in two words, what two words would you select? “Many gifts?” “Much chaos?” “Happy children?” “Stockings hung?” “Too busy?”
The Bible has already summed up Christmas and its meaning for us in two words. They are found in John 1:11, in the magnificent prologue to the Gospel of John. The words are these:
That’s Christmas. “He came.” Two words. Seven printed spaces. But in those words, and in between those spaces lay an infinity of meaning and an ocean of grace. “He came.” Who came? God did. At Christmas, GOD CAME.
He came as an infant. As a cooing, crying, helpless babe. Laid in straw. Entrusted to a small-town teenaged girl from Nazareth and her carpenter husband. He came in our flesh.
Why did He come? To redeem us. He came “unto His own….” Those who should have rejoiced to welcome Him. Those who should have stopped in the midst of their lives to kneel in worship before His crude, wooden throne as He lay wrapped in swaddling clothes.
He came to save us. His given name was Jesus. His title was Christ. He was the chosen One anointed to save us from our sin, from God’s wrath. He came. That’s Christmas. That is why. He came. He came to His own. But His own rejected Him, “they did not receive Him.” They did not welcome Him. They did not rejoice in Him.
But He came anyway. And because He came we can live. Because He came we know new life. Because He came…
There is Christmas.
FOR REFLECTION: For God did not send His son to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17
ADVENT PRAYER: Have you personally said thank you for the gift God gave in His Son? Have you gladly received that freely-offered gift? If not, will you pray now: “Lord, thank you that You came. You came to me. You came for me. And as You have come, I now receive You as the sacrifice, the price of payment for my sins. You have loved me, sought me, and purchased me. And now and forever, I will follow You. Amen.”