Christmas is finished and decorations will soon be down. The carols have all been sung. Family reunions have been enjoyed (or tolerated, as the case may be). The gifts have been wrapped, unwrapped, enjoyed for a while, and some of them broken, returned to the store, or forgotten. The partying has produced an expanded waistline and a slim checkbook. The aftermath of Christmas can leave you with a deflated feeling, especially if you live in a cold climate with several more dreary months of winter.
But the best gift of Christmas just keeps getting better.
I’m reminded of the birth of our children. It was such fun anticipating the happy event. We prepared baby clothes, toys, and equipment. We dreamed of what it would be like to hold this baby in our arms. Finally the big day arrived with all its excitement—and then it was over. No, it had just begun. I’d find myself busy in the kitchen and then remember with a surge of joy that I had a new baby sleeping in the other room! He has been a wonderful part of my life to stay, after all the excitement over his birth.
So Jesus, the whole reason for CHRISTmas, is here to stay after all the excitement of the event has died down. The question is, what will we do with Him? Do we put him away on the shelf with the decorations until next December rolls around? Do we trade Him in for something more glitzy? Or do we welcome Him into our lives with love and honor every day—and enjoy Christmas all year long?
I love the paradoxes that describe Jesus. He defies being put into a box. Those who know Him revel in the fact that he’s both…
My Shepherd and yet my sacrificial Lamb (John 10:11 & John 1:29)
My God and yet my Brother (John 20:28 & Luke 8:21)
My Creator and yet my Companion (John 1:3 & Matthew 28:20)
Eternal yet killed (and of course raised to life) (John 1:1; 19:30 & chapter 20)
Master and yet Servant (Jude 1:4 & Mark 10:45)
And much, much more!
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body.
He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead.
So he is first in everything.
For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)
Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!
What names were given to Jesus at his birth? And what is their significance? Each of them has a special meaning. Here are some of them:
Christ/Messiah—King appointed by God
Emmanuel—God with us—this time “with skin on”!
Every one of these indicates a relationship. He saves us, rules over us with love and justice, and lives/stays with us. He is not a God who is far away but one who cares and delights in every detail of my life. What comfort, security, and hope.
You know that game where a small gift is wrapped in layer after layer of boxes and wrapping paper. It’s passed around a circle and the size keeps shrinking as everyone unwraps some of it. And then finally the last person person finally tears off the last layer. This is his/her Christmas present.
In Jesus, it’s quite the opposite. A very large gift (the Infinite God) was presented in a very small package (a tiny baby). And as time went, He not only grew in size, but his glory (i.e. Godhood) was revealed more and more. Finally, as His body was torn (and with it, the veil in the Temple that separated man from God), our Christmas present from God was complete: a perfect Savior in whom we have forgiveness, new life, direct access to God, hope of heaven and God’s presence throughout, and much, much more. The gift you can’t live without!
Thanks be to God for his indescribable Gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)