The idea of “Christmas” typically conjures up thoughts of little feet running down the hall to the present-packed tree, laughter-filled dinners with family, and replays of Jimmy Stewart screaming, “Merry Christmas!” in “It’s A Wonderful Life”. The time-span from Black Friday to Christmas is a rat-race of gift-shopping and event-filled evenings that find us relieved when Christmas morning finally arrives. The question is, “Why do we limit the impact of the season on our lives in such a materialistic and powerless way?”
The answer: We have been taught and have allowed the busyness of the season to put a stranglehold on our hearts and minds.
How do we overcome this? By submitting our hearts and minds to the real and primary purpose of Christmas: The revealing of God’s glory in His Son Jesus Christ. I use the word “submit” because we must submit our hearts in order to find that we are then overwhelmed by the beauty of the birth of Christ. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 12:2 ESV, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind”. As we submit to Scripture our hearts and minds are renewed apart from the culture’s influence.
With that being said, turn your mind to Isaiah 40:5 ESV. God’s Word says, “And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” This verse is the climax of the first 5 verses of this Messianic prophecy that begins with vs. 3-4 describing the future role of John the Baptist in preparing for and removing all obstacles in the way of the coming of Jesus. This verse is the reason for the hope, comfort, and joy that is to be found in remembering the birth of Jesus Christ. Why?
The answer: Because the radiance of the glory of God has been revealed to mankind in the coming of His Son.
From the time of Moses the revealing of the glory of God has been sought after by man. Moses requested to see the glory of God in Exodus 33 but God would only allow Him to see what was left after He passed by and He hid Moses in the cleft of a rock. To see the full manifestation of the glory of God would be to die! Hebrews 1 tells us that times of old only presented the revelation of God through His prophets in a limited way. However, the chapter goes on to say that He has now spoken to us by His Son who is the “radiance of the glory of God”. What does that mean? That means that before Christ came we could not look at the full light of the glory of God without being blinded and killed so His glory was limited. But now that Christ has come he is the fullness of God’s glory! How? Through the gift of salvation. And this gift has been revealed to all flesh! Whether Jew or Gentile, salvation has no barrier! Its as if God placed His glory into the world in a way that brings life instead of death!
What an incredible Truth to take into our hearts and minds this Christmas! When overwhelmed with the distractions of the season, take a moment to pause and be overwhelmed by the glory of God!