The Christmas Story: The Wise Men (Take 1)

As we come to another year of celebration of the birth of Christ, we also finish our study on the Christmas story. Our final thoughts will center on the wise men. There are many interesting misconceptions about the wise men we have adopted in the western world. Some would include: They were there when Christ was first born. There were three of them. They were “wise men.” All three are false.

First, they met Christ when He was probably about two years old. They finally settled in a house where they lived. They had established themselves within the community and made new friends. Jesus was probably saying His first words by this time. Mama and dada were probably rolling off His tongue when the wise men arrived.

As a side note: This is why I believe the “star” in the sky was a manifestation of God and not an actual star. We might remember that the star “appeared” in the sky. It was not always there. It apparently stayed in the sky for perhaps a year. After the wise men leave, we never hear about the star again. Is it still in the sky? Could it have been the North Star or another star that “died?” For me, I find this to be unlikely.

Second, there is this myth that there were only three wise men that visited Jesus. We get this because the wise men gave three gifts. Men of their honor would have been much grater than three. They could have traveled in a group or caravan of as many as 30 people. We are also not told how much of each gift they brought with them. It could have been a substantial amount. Three men would not have these kinds of gifts without the proper protection from thieves and people. There could have been music and fanfare when they entered the city. Just as one would recognize a rabbi from afar, anyone would have recognized a wise man. The way they dressed would have given them away immediately. Something big was going to happen and the people knew it.

The wise men begin their occupation under Daniel’s leadership. They knew the prophecies of the King of the Jews – the Messiah that would come. To them, the sign of this star was all they needed to see. Wise men are really not a good term for these men. They were stargazers of a different kind. They spent years studying the Scriptures in order to understand the prophecies of the Old Testament. And the wise men were looking for a star. A star would be the sign that fulfilled a prophecy that the Messiah was in the world. The wise men knew it – they saw it – so they went in search of the Messiah.

Mary and Joseph must have been humbled when these men of great honor bowed down to a two-year-old child. How ridiculous this must have seemed to those who had gathered by Mary and Joseph’s house to see all that was happening. These men, dressed well, rich, and knowledgeable in every respect, were bowing down to a two-year-old child. What on earth could this have meant?

So the wise men came and brought gifts. We are not sure exactly what Mary and Joseph did with the gifts they were given. I can only assume that they tithed it and used the rest of it to provide for Jesus. For Joseph, he would be able to buy Jesus tools to work with stone and become a carpenter. For Mary, she would be able to buy food. And, for Jesus, He would be able to go to the best school and study perhaps under the best teachers of His day, which almost seems ridiculous because we know that Jesus amazes the scribes and the teachers when He is twelve. They would also have enough money to travel to Egypt. For what its worth, the wise men understood what so many people today – people in high, powerful positions do not – that bowing down to a two-year-old child was the best thing they could have done at that time. They knew He was the Christ. He would save His people, Israel from their sins and die on their behalf. They were not prideful – Jesus humbled them. Maybe this Christmas, we could learn to do likewise. No matter what our financial or communal status in our sphere of influence, maybe we could learn to bow down to a two-year-old child named Jesus and worship Him as Lord. God bless – and Merry Christmas.

Do yourself a favor today: Spend today with your family, turn off your computers and your cell phones and spend the day worshipping God. He is worthy of it. God bless.

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The Christmas Story: Shepherds (Take 1)

Today is Christmas Eve. In order to finish up our Christmas Story study, we have to look at the shepherds today and the “wise man” tomorrow.

The first groups of men we will look at are the shepherds who were “keeping watch over their flocks by night.” What might be interesting to note about the shepherds were that they were outcasts from the community. In today’s culture, being a shepherd would be like working at a fast food joint or a department store for minimum wage. It was a job that “paid the bills” as it were. It wasn’t a glorious job by any means. Shepherds probably smelled worse than a landfill and worked constantly. They were overworked, underpaid, and never reaped the joys of popularity.

Why then would the angels show up and tell them about Jesus? Why wouldn’t they go to someone more important? Someone who would have a job like a C.E. O. or a celebrity actor? I think maybe the angels came to the shepherds because they were outcasts. They probably kept to themselves and looked after one another. Their sub-community was a part of a much larger community that didn’t mesh well together.

God seems to do things differently than I would. I would not have brought Jesus into the world as a baby. I would have found a better place for Him to be born than a cave. I would have given him a bed to sleep in – not a feeding trough. And, I would have found a “better” group of people to see Jesus the night He was born – rather than a bunch of smelly sheepherders. God does things differently though.

A “host” of angels show up and tell the shepherds where to find Jesus that night. I wonder what that would have been like to experience. They agreed that they should go and see the child. As they show up, I wonder what Joseph’s thoughts were when he saw the night visitors. I once again can only speculate but I would assume those who came to see Jesus probably took Joseph back. I think maybe, even if just for a moment or two, Joseph probably felt like you or I would have felt. Confused. Why on earth would God send a group of shepherds to see the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords? Where are the rich and the famous?

I wonder if they got to hold Jesus that night. I wonder if they understood that the child they were holding would later die for them so that they could know the Father who is in heaven. I can only wonder if they understood all they had experienced that night.

The Christmas Story: Bethlehem (Take 1)

Could you imagine going to your hometown and your own family doesn’t even have a place for you to sleep? Add a layer to the story: You are newly married with only the bare essentials. Let’s add another part to the equation: Your wife is pregnant and you are trying to provide for the three of you. You think your family will accept your wife and having a place to stay won’t be a big deal. You have had parties before and people have stayed over – surely they would give you a place to rest for the night.

Needless to say, I am taking about Joseph and Mary. Joseph was going to his hometown. He was told that he had to be counted in a census. This usually meant that there would be an increase of taxes or a new law. So Joseph and Mary pack up a few things and head out to Bethlehem – the house of bread. The only problem is: There is no bread. As Joseph searches for a place to stay, everyone turns him down. Since everyone is back home, all the rooms are taken. All the grandchildren and relatives are in town for a long weekend. Joseph must have been stressed out.

As they finally approach the time for Mary to give birth, Joseph goes into overdrive. I wonder where the doctor was. Surely someone will open up for them. Nobody would turn down a woman who is in desperate need of medical attention would they? I always think of that story Jesus tells later in His ministry about a man who is in need of bread for a friend who showed up late one evening. Since the man had nothing for his friend, he goes next door and bangs on the friend’s door and asks for something to eat. The neighbor responds by telling him to go away. It is late after all and the kids are in bed. The man is persistent though and eventually gets what he needs for his late visitor.

Having nowhere else to go, Joseph found a small cave where animals were kept and attempted to put together a decent place for Mary to deliver a child. What a disgrace. How on earth could the Son of God be born in a place like this? The smell must have been unbearable. Animal droppings probably littered the cave. Having no other choice, Joseph helped his wife give birth to a Son. I wonder if the people could hear Mary screaming as she gave birth. I wonder if the people that told them they had no room for them heard her cry as she delivered her baby. They probably had no clue what was happening in a cave right outside their doors.

Now they needed to clean the baby. All they had were a few stripes of cloth. They would be able to clean the baby well but the baby would be cold. They had no choice but to wrap the baby in stripes of cloth like the ones used to clean him. Tired from the delivery, I have no doubt that Mary just wanted to sleep. She had to nurse her new baby though. Babies are hungry – sometimes more than adults. After a proper feeding, the baby would be put down to sleep. Placing a kiss on His forehead, Mary placed Jesus in a feeding trough. It wasn’t the best of circumstances, but they did what they could. As Jesus was sleeping, Mary could count His toes and His fingers. She could hear Him breath and listen to His heartbeat. With tear in her eyes, I wonder what she pondered in her heart.

The story says that a “great light – a star” stood over them. In my personal opinion, I don’t think it was a “star” like you and I see in the sky – like the North Star. I believe it was a manifestation of God that overshadowed the Joseph, Mary and Jesus. Once again, I can’t prove it. I can only suggest it. In the Old Testament, a “cloud of smoke” led the people out of Egypt by day and a “pillar of fire” led them by night. These were manifestations of God though. I don’t think the “star” was a comet, like I have read other people suggest. I really believe it was a manifestation of God that overlooked and protected His own Son.

Our next post will include the Shepherds and the Wise Men (who didn’t show up for at least 2 years after Christ was born). Then we will celebrate a day when we recognize that Christ was born to save the world and reconcile all things to the Father. I hope these Christmas Story posts have been worth your while to read as it has been for me to write them. God bless.

The Christmas Story: Joseph (Take 1)

We’ve taken two days to look at Mary. In my mind, she is quite possibly one of the most interesting women to study in the Bible. Every time I am confronted with the Christmas Story, Mary seems to make it to the forefront of my mind.

Not far behind though is Joseph. Joseph falls in line within the linage of David. In some respects, Joseph is a man with royal blood running through his body. Unlike David though, Joseph is not a king. He is a simple stone worker. His main responsibilities were probably to build houses out of stone and maintain the city wall as needed. Since he was a craftsman of sorts, Joseph and most likely his father were an important part of community life. He probably always had work to do. He could be called upon to help a friend or neighbor build a solid house. Needless to say, the community needed the skills Joseph had. He was, for that reason, probably taken care of by his community.

He wasn’t just a hard worker. He was also a devout Jew who kept the Law of Moses to the best of his ability. He feared God and strived to live a life that was worthy of God’s return. This would be reflected in how Joseph did his business, maintained relationships within the community, and the type of wife Joseph would receive. Of all the women Joseph could have been betrothed to, there be no doubt that Mary was a lucky women – even if she didn’t love him as we would traditionally love a future spouse. She realized that above love, she would be taken care of by Joseph. He would never be without work and he could eventually train his children and others to do what he does. He would be desirable to anyone who was looking for a skill to learn.

Joseph prepares to marry his young virgin spouse by building his own home. For Joseph, it wouldn’t take as long as some. He had built so many homes before. The year would go by quickly and he would take Mary to be his wife. All of his friends would be there to drink wine and dance. There would also be gifts and God would look down on them and bless them. In Joseph’s mind, the future looked promising.

That was until Mary came home one day and dropped a bomb on Joseph. “I’m pregnant, Joseph. I am with a child but I am still a virgin. An angel told me God is within me and He is growing. He will save us from our sins. The long-awaited Messiah is in me and yet we have not had sex.” I don’t know how the conversation went. I don’t really know how Mary put the words together. We can only guess at how it must have seemed to her as each word rolled off her tongue. Not only that – Joseph’s response must have been picture priceless.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I believe Mary shared with Joseph what she had learned before she left to visit Elizabeth for three months. Being a woman of character and boldness, I cannot conceive her to keep that a secret from Joseph. As she leaves, I can only imagine Joseph’s mind running as he tries to understand what his wife-to-be had just told him.

For three months – could you imagine – Joseph debates what he is going to do. Having her around would only make things more difficult. Perhaps it was good that she left. If word were to ever get out about this, the crowd would look for him to have her stoned.

You can only imagine his line of thinking: “She is pregnant with God? What really happened? Was she raped? Maybe she was raped and doesn’t want to say because she is ashamed. What if she wasn’t though? She can’t be pregnant and remain a virgin. How on earth is that possible? Mary has never lied to me before. She seems to maintain her modesty around the other men in the community. This is just crazy.” Once again, I can only suggest my thoughts. Have you thought about that at all? Every year, I think about how I would respond. I am afraid I can’t write them in this post because I would probably have to repent for the majority of my thoughts. Needless to say, I would want to believe her but would struggle to do so. He wanted to dismiss the wedding quietly. Even though out the pain he felt, Joseph looked after Mary. Today, that would be unheard of in our culture, which is probably why Jesus was born then and not now.

Thank goodness for Joseph’s dream. I wonder how many days he remained at home – not going out to be with the guys. I wonder how often he just lay in bed and cried; how often he prayed to God for answers; how little sleep he got; how little food he ate. Joseph, like many of us would be in that position, must have struggle beyond belief before that dream. And, with that dream, Joseph’s fear and complexity was all together removed.

The angel explained everything to Joseph in this dream. We are told when Joseph awakes from this dream; he knows what he must do. He takes Mary as his wife. Later on, Mary and Joseph present Jesus to the Temple and offer a sacrifice on His behalf. Two turtledoves are given – a sign of being poor. All Joseph had worked for – a great business, respect, and a great life for he and his future wife were gone. They had to start all over again. With no place to go and uncertainty in their mists, Joseph and Mary remained married and had other children. We do not know the time of Joseph’s death. Maybe that isn’t important to the story. What we do know is Joseph made a choice that many of us would not have made. He took a virgin – pregnant woman – to be his wife.

The Christmas Story: Mary (Take 2)

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.” Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home. – Luke 1: 46-56.

Being a second installment of our study of Mary, I thought I would share some insights concerning Mary’s song. In the previous post, I mentioned that Mary was very intelligent. In fact, that might have been an understatement. Mary had limited schooling. As mentioned in the previous post, Mary probably had the education of a sixth grader. She would have learned the basics of the Torah and the Wisdom literature. What’s interesting is that Mary’s song encompasses, for the most part, word-for-word Scripture from Proverbs, Isaiah, and Psalms – wisdom literature she would have learned as a young schoolgirl. Mary gives an exegetical lesson to Elizabeth through her song. Maybe Elizabeth and Mary learned a song much like Mary’s song when they were in school together. We have no support of the Scriptures to say that Mary free versed these words. We also don’t want to assume she didn’t either. What we can be sure of though is that Mary connected several Scriptures together and sang a song that expressed her joy.

Mary first takes a moment to express the joy she has. She calls herself “his servant.” This is a direct statement that looks back at her response to the angel. She says, “I am the Lord’s servant…” She knows she really isn’t worthy of being the mother of God in the flesh. Instead of becoming proud, she acknowledges before Elizabeth and God that she is humble. For a young virgin girl, she shows herself more as an adult than most adults would have responded. Even when people call her blessed, she recognizes she turns the focus squarely on God. Even when people, who might have the right intentions, worship her, she recognizes that she is in need of Jesus’ saving grace – He will be her salvation. Would it be wrong for us to call Mary blessed? No. She was. In fact, she believes she is as well. She is only blessed though because God chose her, not because she was perfect.

I think the next several verses are a response to the angel’s words, “For nothing is impossible with God.” Her knowledge of the Scriptures would have guided her to respond in the following verses the way she does here. God has “performed mighty deeds with his arm.” She has seen God work in amazing ways through the Torah and within her own lineage – within her people. It would have been ingrained in her mind. Throughout Israel’s history, God has never forgotten His people. She has always remained under God’s protection. He has feed those who were in need and has “sent the rich away empty.” Perhaps the rich were sent away empty because they did not bless others as God commanded the people. It is only a guess as to why she adds that to her song. Knowing Mary’s status during that time – to some degree – it also could have been a cry for God to protect her in her time of need. She is the “hungry” in her song. Perhaps the “rich” are those who will eventually look down on her. Once again, these are only suggestions as to how all of this fits Mary’s song. We learn Mary is not troubled when she is in her cousin’s household. The “impossible” is not impossible.

In the final verse, we learn Mary stays with Elizabeth for about three months – most likely until John is born. Maybe she was there to hear Zachariah speak for the first time in nine months. Armed perhaps with two miracles and a message from an angel, Mary returns to her home, perhaps showing a little, as Jesus grows within her. When she returns home, Joseph, having had his dream, takes Mary to be his wife, despite what others might think of her. He knows she remains a pure woman, having been with no man.

The Christmas Story: Mary (Take 1)

The focus revolved around Mary this evening. Her life’s crowning achievement centers around Jesus and her willingness to be used by God in a very unique way. For a few moments, I would like to give my synopsis of her story perhaps in a way that hasn’t been considered.

We don’t know how the age of Mary – perhaps between the age of 12 and 15. As a Jewish girl, Mary went to school up until the sixth grade (what we would consider primary school). She would learn the basics of the Torah and the wisdom literature. She would learn songs, hymns and spiritual songs to teach the children she would eventually birth. By 14 or so, Mary would return to the home and learn the basics of home life. She would learn how to cook and keep house. During that time, she would also find herself being placed in a marriage agreement. The fathers would get together and agree that one’s son and one’s daughter should unite in marriage. Marriage wasn’t an issue of love as it was of duty and of one’s lineage.

Unlike our traditions of “falling in love,” Mary was betrothed – or positioned to marry – Joseph who was a carpenter by trade. Being a carpenter in that time most likely meant you worked with stone, since wood was not readily available during that time in that place. There was however, a lot of stone to work. He was probably a lot older – maybe 30 or so. Having added an addition to his father’s house, Joseph was preparing for marriage. For 30 years, Joseph remained pure and upright before God and his community.

Everything was fine until an angel showed up. When an angel shows up, something always happens. They never just show up and say hi. Something big will be announced or something significant will occur. For Mary, she has no clue.

“The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”” – Luke 1: 28.

If an angel showed up and spoke to me, I would probably fall on my face and begin announcing all my sins I had committed earlier that day. I probably would have had to change my pants as well. Here’s a young girl face-to-face with an angel from heaven and, at least to our knowledge, remains still and even perhaps curious about why this angel has come to visit her.

In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus says, “I am with you, even until the end of the age.” Here the angel says that the Lord is with her. I wonder if she really understood the significance of that statement.

“Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” – Luke 1: 29-31.

She doesn’t seem to be afraid of the angel but his words – his greeting frightens her. Have you ever had someone say something really nice to you and you wonder what is coming next? It always seems like someone has to say something really nice first before they dump some really bad news on you. If I were in her situation, I would probably be in the same boat. Even after the angel says, “Do not be afraid,” I would still be afraid.

The next phrase must have floored her. “You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” Here is a 12-15 year-old-girl who is a virgin – no sex – and she is going to conceive a son. No matter what the angel said after that, I would have been unable to shake that from my mind. I remember when I was told my buddy, Mike died. When the words, “Mike died” came out of someone’s mouth, everything they said after that seemed to fade into the background. I couldn’t shake that moment. I couldn’t shake those words. For the interest of time, we will look at the Messianic phrases next time. I want to jump to Mary’s response in light of what I just wrote. Her response is, “How can this be, since I have not been with a man?” Do you see how she most likely heard nothing beyond the angel’s first statement about bearing a son? It only seems to make sense that her mind was filled with a lot of questions regarding this one statement.

The angel’s is unreal: “The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”” – Luke 1: 35-37.

The Holy Spirit is going to indwell her and His power is going to overshadow her. That’s helpful. Honestly. If that is the kind of response I was given to a situation like that, I am not sure I would accept it with open arms. I would want a little more explanation to the equation. Last time I checked, a sperm and an egg were needed to conceive a child. If there were no sperm, how would it all work out? The angel’s response is clear – nothing is impossible with God.

Then there is this business of her cousin, Elizabeth who was “old.” I find that term interesting here for a variety of reasons. I won’t go through them all but I want to consider two things: Elizabeth’s husband is Zachariah. He is the mute guy earlier in the story. He is still serving in the Temple (significant). Leviticus Law said that a priest, after he was 50, would stop his priestly duties and spend the rest of his life training the younger guys to take over when he passed on. So, since Zachariah is still serving, he has to be fewer than 50. Since life expectancy was not what it is today, his age would play a significant role. Supposing he is about 45 (just a guess of age), that would make Elizabeth around 27-30 (if she was about 12-15 when she married). She is considered old at 30! She is with a child though – being six months pregnant. Nothing is impossible with God.

Mary’s final words were, “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “Let it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.” – Luke 1:38.

Mary accepts her fate. She seems very proactive in this choice. She accepts the position as the Lord’s servant and realizes that it will be a challenge to explain all of this to Joseph.

In my mind, I have to believe she shared all she experienced with Joseph before she went to see Elizabeth for three months. Maybe Joseph didn’t believe her. Maybe he did. We will look at Joseph later. All I want to say is this: Joseph might have had to consider his choice to marry Mary or have her stoned for three months. He might have had to go back and forth through every option. Since she wasn’t around, no one had to know yet. He could consider all the options without her being around – she wouldn’t start showing for a little while anyway. He had some time to figure out what he was going to do. As I said though, we will get to him later.

For now, in closing, I think Mary sometimes gets the bad end of the stick. We will see in a later post that she was quite smart. She understood the ramifications – at least in some degree – for carrying Jesus. What I find quite interesting is that Mary carried God in the flesh – and, at the cross, God carried Mary’s flesh. Just something to think about…

John’s Christmas Story

Most Church would never consider reading John’s account of Christ during the Christmas season. Matthew and Luke normally receive all the limelight. However, John’s testimony of the Christ includes an important aspect from a very different perspective, which should be read and enjoyed. Therefore, I am going to share the Christmas story through the eyes of John in hopes that it will be included in your homes Christmas day.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5).

The Logos (Word), to the Greeks, was thought of as a bridge between the transcendent God and the material universe. To put it another way, the Logos was the mediating principle between God and the world. John introduces a very familiar concept any good Jew or Gentile would have recognized, yet trumps their preconceived notions. The Logos John speaks about here is not just a mediating principle between God and the world. The Logos is God. He is divine. John also states that the Logos gives life. In Greek traditions, the gods rarely interacted with its creation. This God is different though. He cares enough to bring life to His creation.

He also brings light in order that His people can see clearly. Have you ever stubbed your toe in the dark because you could not see? I am sure many of us have at one point or another. However, if we had turned on a light, we most likely would not stub or toe because we could see where we were walking. With all the obstacles that could present it to us when it is dark, turning on a light seems to make a lot more sense. This principle not only works in a very humanistic way but also in our personal walks with God. No wonder the Psalmist wrote, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).

Light is also an interesting concept to consider. God spoke light into being. He said it and light was. The Word of God spoke light into being. In John 1, we are told that the Logos brought life – and life was the light of men. Now if Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” in John 8:12, and God spoke light into being in Genesis 1, is it then possible to assume that When Jesus spoke light into existence, He was essentially giving Himself to the world? In my eyes, it seems to fit pretty well. In Genesis 1, The Word gives His Light for the world. And, as John 1:5 states, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” So here we see Jesus manifested as both the Logos and the Light that gives life. Once again, this makes sense. Without light, there can be essentially no life. Before we go off on a tangent though, let’s continue our Christmas story:

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. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known (John 1: 14-18).

Our final part of the Christmas story is very unique. This Logos and Light becomes flesh. We know in the other Gospels this part of the story. We know how the Angel approached Mary and how she gave birth to Jesus in a Cave where animals were kept. What we learn though is significant. From the beginning of creation, God dwell among His creation. For a short time, God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden God had made. When sin came into existence, our relationship with God was weakened. A tragic blow occurred when man sinned. Since that moment, God has attempted to dwell with His creation once again. In the story of Exodus for example, God had the Israelites make a tabernacle so that God’s presence could dwell in the camps of the people. Throughout the whole Old Testament, we can see God chasing after His people. When Jesus is born, it is not just another pregnancy with strange circumstances. The Logos became flesh – and dwelled among men. God’s desire to dwell among His creation was fulfilled through Jesus. The Father’s love for us is so great that “He sent His own Son so that all whom believed in Him should not die but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus brings life and the Light brings life… I wonder if they are connected somehow…

No one has ever seen God in His glorified state. His very existence in that form would kill our flesh. We could not take its brilliance or splendor. The only way we could know God is if God came to earth to know us. And that is exactly what He did. Through Christ, we know the Father and are known by Him.

So this Christmas season, don’t forget the Christmas story John presents. It might not be your traditional reading for Advent but it is another perspective that rarely gets read. John gives us the good news of Christ – the Word, the Light, the Truth, and the Life – in his Gospel. It is my hope that the Logos will shine upon you this year as you celebrate the birth of the Word. God bless.