Do you feel it? There is something in the air. Just a hint of real worship, of renewal and life and glory. My heart aches for the presence of God. My heart cries out for a taste of the wonder of Christmas this year. Amidst tragedy, loneliness, and the tears of those who are sick, broken, lonely, confused, or overwhelmed with the sadness of loss, I so desire for the miracle of Christmas to visit their homes.
So what exactly is the miracle of Christmas?
Some would say the virgin birth, and that is certainly a miracle. Others would say the fulfillment of so many Old Testament prophecies, such as the Bethlehem birth (Micah 5:2), again, the virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14), or the Messiah’s lineage from King David (Jeremiah 23:5). Still others would say that the appearances of angels would be a great miracle of Christmas, and that is certainly true.
But do you know what I think? I believe the greatest miracle of Christmas is found in John 1:14.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (NIV).
You know why? Because that is the only Christmas miracle that can comfort those who are hurting right now. My heart breaks when I think of a family who recently lost their 14-year-old son or my friend whose closest childhood friend was just killed in a farming accident. I shed tears when I visit the homes of church members who are sick, in pain, and struggling just to make it minute by minute–and for those who are caring for them. I am sad when I consider those battling sickness and my friend whose son is headed to Afghanistan.
Many of us are celebrating, while others are quietly trying to survive. How can the miracle of Christmas help them?
Because the miracle of Christmas is that the Creator of the world threw aside the light of heaven to walk through the darkness of earth so He could literally “tabernacle” with us. You see, all of Old Testament worship centered on the blood sacrifice of an animal that could temporarily atone for sin and allow man to briefly experience the glory of God. But John 1:14 tells us that the very Word that spoke creation into existence became flesh and brought His glory for us to see–in living color, right in the flesh.
Why is that such good news for those who are hurting? Because He came full of grace and truth. And He still offers that grace and truth to us today.
To those who are grieving, hurting, lonely, or scared, Jesus has grace to see them through every moment, truth that will comfort, strengthen, uphold, and surround. I saw a glimmer of it Sunday night as we gathered to worship and sing at church and then visited the homes of some who hurt. I saw it in the candlelit glow of “Silent Night,” the quiet voices of prayer around a bedside, the warmth of one hand grasping another, bringing moments of grace, whispers of truth.
Can you feel it? There is a hint of worship in the air, a glimmer of hope in the darkness.
A Savior has been born, full of grace and truth–the glory and miracle of Christmas.
How have you seen the glory of Jesus this Christmas?