The bigger Christmas story
What a season of celebration Christmas provides as we come together to remember the Father’s gift and to worship and sing praises to God for His son. We have so much to celebrate in the birth of Jesus. More than a sweet carol sung of his lowly birth . . . so much more that if our hearts and minds were opened just a little further, we might fall to our knees as we offer these nostalgic songs of praise.
Many of the Jews who met God in the human form of Jesus, did not fully acknowledge who he was. They understood that there was something supernatural about him (John 8:48, 52), and many even knew that He was God, but for prideful, political, weak reasons, they stopped short of professing with their mouths that Jesus is Lord: “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God” (John 12:42-43).
There are still many reasons today for not fully acknowledging Jesus for who He is, and
Christians, as well as non-Christians, can fall short in surrendering to the totality of who Christ is.
Christ, like the Father, existed from the beginning of time, even before. He was in a form that we don’t typically consider as having shape or substance - He was the “Word.” “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1) and “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). When we consider Christ, our natural minds typically move to the birth of the baby Jesus, his short life, his death on the cross, his resurrection, and his ascension into heaven.
It is hard to conceive of him as existing before his birth in Bethlehem, and even harder to think of him existing as the “Word.” Perhaps that’s why we truncate Jesus to his human years - an easily embodied concept of the person. But Christ, the Word, was with God before He was born of woman and became human. Jesus is much more than what we know of his life on earth. He is more than the baby whose pure blood was used to atone us, he is more than a healer and a lover of the unlovable. He is also the creator of the universe “Through him all things were made” John 1:3; “Through whom he made the universe” Hebrews 1:2), He is the light to the world that God and the heavens above truly do exist (“He is the radiance of God’s glory” Hebrews 1:3), He is the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), He is the great high priest (Hebrews 4:14), He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords (Rev 19:16), He is our God (John 1:1)!
As Jesus walked the earth for those brief years of his human form, He maintained His divinity. John the Baptist proclaimed Jesus as the son of God: “The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘This is the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29); “I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God” (John 1:34); Jesus proclaimed His own divinity: “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). He was without sin (Hebrews 4:15; John 8:46) and He is eternal (“Before Abraham was born, I am.” John 8:58).
It is good news and worthy of magnificent celebration that Christ is the Son of God, sent by God to be our savior; but Christ is so much more than that! He is the gateway to our Holy God, now on earth, and for eternity in heaven!
This Christmas, when we remember the birth of our Lord, let’s take the next step and put on the grace and righteousness that He has afforded us by His sacrifice and put it to good use – let’s prayerfully, thankfully, and boldly walk into the presence of our Holy God – a precious freedom we have as believers in Christ! And in His presence, let’s raise our hearts, minds, and souls even beyond the wonderful Christmas story . . . let our hearts feel the abundance of His majesty, His power, His amazing grace and His glory; let our minds understand the vastness of Christ as the creator of the heavens and the earth, and let our souls worship the one true God “to Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever.” (Revelation 5:13)
Let our hearts lavishly celebrate ALL of who Christ is this season!
steps to growth
1. When we consider Christ as the atoner of our sins, we are presented with a sobering reality that we are not our own but have been bought for a price. What does that truth mean in terms of day-to-day decisions we make? Or longer-term, in the hopes and dreams we have for our lives?
2. When we consider Christ to be much more than our savior we are brought to an even deeper level of humility and surrender and giving God glory. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the depths of Christ so that you may celebrate Him more vigorously, walk with Him more completely, and see the Father’s glory more clearly.
Blessing of Revelation 22:12-14
“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.”
Lord help us to magnify who you are this Christmas. Let our hearts be over-whelmed by your majesty. We ask for your Spirit to show us more of you, as we humbly open our hearts, minds, and souls to receive more of you. Lord help us to dismantle any barricades that stand between us seeing you more deeply, and let our hearts and mouths sing forth lavish praise this Christmas as we celebrate the totality of who you are – in your own sweet name! Amen!
~ save the date ~
Monthly Seminars Resume in February with a 3-part series on
Feb 22 / Mar 21 / Apr 18 9:00am - 11:30am
18 E. 8th St, Chester