As the semester draws to a close, we naturally look forward to the coming Christmas break. Holidays such as Christmas are an important interruption in the regular routine of our lives, and not just for a few days off work or school. For those of us who have grown up in the church, our familiarity with the Christmas story can often obscure the astounding nature of what God has done. Allowing Christmas to break our routine can help us appreciate again the new and profound way in which God has broken into the world to live among us.
At many moments in the past and by many means, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our time, the final days, God has spoken to us in the person of his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom he made the ages. (Hebrews 1:1-2)
To live in these last times, when God has been fully revealed in the person of Jesus, is a blessing we should not take for granted. We have in the person and work of Jesus, a true and full revelation of God – a revelation which the people of God in the past could only see in part. We have in the scriptures the witness and testimony of the good news of Jesus, available at our fingertips in our own language in a way that most of the church throughout history did not. And we have the opportunity to gather as the body of Christ with our fellow followers of Jesus freely and publicly at a time when many Christians around the world must meet in secret, or not at all.
I would ask that during this Christmas season, you would take advantage of the break from your regular daily routine to break out of your religious routine and allow the Spirit to speak anew what it means for God to become human and live with us. Give thanks for privilege it is for us to live in these times when we can hear the message of God in the person of God’s Son in a way that was not possible for those who went before us. And seek out ways in which you can share this privilege of knowing Jesus with others, that the body of Christ might grow and flourish.
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son… No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us. (John 1:14, 18)
May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace, and may the Spirit of Christ transform us into the likeness of Jesus.