Christmas: Why It Still Matters – True Baby, Real God
Key Bible Verse: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
Dig Deeper: John 3:13-21
Let us imagine that we are with the shepherds on those hills in Palestine. We have seen and heard the angels, and we have begun to run to Bethlehem. We come bursting into the presence of Mary, Joseph, and the baby, and immediately we wonder: What are we looking at?
First of all, we are looking at a true baby. He is not an idea or a religious experience. He is a newborn infant who makes noises and cries when he gets hungry.
There is no reason to think that the baby shows any special manifestations. An artist can paint him with light emanating from his body, and if we understand the light as symbolic, it is safe enough.
But if we think of it as more than that, it is harmful. There is no halo about the baby’s head. Certainly there is no halo around Mary’s head.
What we see is a young Jewish mother. We see her husband, and we see a little baby who does not show any marks that would distinguish him from any other infant. And yet this little baby we see lying here is God who has taken on flesh.
Why did God come? Only the scriptural answer will suffice: The second person of the Trinity has been born because he loves the world.
—Francis Schaeffer in Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus
My Response: I will reflect on the truth that Jesus was both a baby and God of the universe.
Thought to Apply: The mystery of Christ, that he sunk himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding. —Martin Luther (leader of the Protestant Reformation)
Adapted from Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus (Crossway, 2008).
Prayer for the Week: Father, don’t let me get so caught up in the frenzy of the holidays that I forget what it’s all about; amid it all, may I take time for peaceful reflection and joyful celebration of my Savior’s birth.