Written by Pastor Mark Weis
(This devotion was taken from the book One Thing Needful: For All the Distractions, Stresses and Worries of Life by Pastor Mark Weis. Used with permission.)
For weeks we anticipate Christmas and relish each sign of its coming: lights and decorations, Christmas trees and Christmas cards, mistletoe, fruitcake, and gift-giving. And then Christmas is over. Each day beyond Christmas, it is more difficult to maintain a yuletide spirit. By the end of January, the most festive among us are wondering, “When will the neighbors get that manger scene off the front lawn?”
It is possible to have the same reaction with the Christmas message. After four weeks of Advent, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, the Sunday after Christmas, and the first Sunday in Epiphany—one of the readings is traditionally the visit of the Magi—we may start to wonder, “When will the church calendar get the manger and Magi off the front lawn?”
Yet, as John 1:1-14 reminds us, the great truths of Christmas are not seasonal but eternal, and meant to give us joy and hope every day of the year. While there are many truths of Christmas, perhaps the greatest truths involve the Person of Christ.
Jesus Christ is True God
There are many Bible passages that attest to the deity of Christ. One of these is John 1:1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The baby Jesus born in Bethlehem and wrapped in swaddling clothes was and is truly and fully God. The 12-year-old Jesus in the temple who taught and astonished the Jewish doctors of theology; the historical Jesus who walked the shores of Lake Galilee, leaving sandal-prints in the sand; the Jesus who died on Good Friday and was raised triumphantly on Easter Sunday—was and is truly and fully God.
As the Christmas prophecy declared, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a Son, and they will call Him Immanuel—which means, ‘God with us’” Matthew 1:23. GOD with us. And if God is with us, is there anything in our lives—financial troubles, difficult relationships, job loss, aches and pains, and even death itself—that can be against us and overcome us? No. This reality brings Christmas joy throughout the year, doesn’t it?
Jesus Christ is True Man
God has all power to solve all problems, but does He have the willingness? This question is answered by the second great truth of Christmas; namely, God’s willingness to humble Himself to death, to become truly human, in order to save us from our sins.
Everything wrong with our world is the result of Adam and Eve in pride aspiring to become God. Everything right with our lives—forgiveness, salvation, peace, and joy—is the result of God in humility aspiring to become man. If God was willing to become human for us, will He not always be willing to help us in every other way? Of course. The cross proves His willingness.
More than this, in becoming true man Jesus also experienced all of our human problems, yet remained without sin. You and I can never rightly say, “God, You don’t understand what I’m going through.” God went through it.
This is why Scripture says, “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need,” Hebrews 4:15-16.
Jesus is true God. Jesus is true man. Don’t just recite these great truths of Christmas; live them. Let every day be a Christmas Day.