Sunday, December 17, 2006

What Christians Celebrate at Christmas

Today I cried in church. Every Christmas since I became a Christian I have learned more about why we celebrate the birth of Christ. There is always a deeper truth to learn about Jesus. Here is what I'm learning this Christmas...

Pastor was preaching from the first chapter of John and the Spirit applied it to my heart most powerfully.

I really thought about his verse:
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

He said that in the Old Testament, no one could look upon God's glory and live. I can think of a few passages where this truth is seen (Moses asking to see God's glory in Exodus, Isaiah's vision in Chapter 6). That's how pure God is that you cannot be in His presence without being consumed by His holiness.

Now here is where I never really made the connection of these OT scriptures with the birth of Christ.

The God of glory, descended from that glory, divesting Himself of it. He took on human flesh so he could make his dwelling among us. Immanuel, God with us. We are welcomed to gaze upon His glory-in the manger. The same God who couldn't be looked upon in the OT is Jesus Christ in the flesh. Think about that for a moment. Jesus said "the Father is in me and I am in the Father" (John 10:38) so in essence, one. It is the same God of Isaiah 6 who "came to make his dwelling among us in John 1.

Has it ever hit you in the gut the fact that as a Christian, you are a forgiven sinner? Hearing the gospel that my savior has paid my debt, what could be greater news? This morning, my tears were of gratitude. His mercy moved my heart to such a deep, faith building gratitude.

That is one of the reasons I will celebrate this Christmas.

Glory to God.

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