Christmas is viewed as a celebration of many things in our society, depending on who is doing the celebrating. Since the holiday is almost universally recognized in our businesses and communities, most will celebrate in one way or another.
If you are not a Christian in America, it is likely you will still be off of work for the day, so celebrations of that fact alone will ensue. Think of it as a gift that ultimately comes from the Giver you don’t believe exists. The Giver who made the gift of Christmas possible.
The Christmas Celebration of Meekness
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. [Luke 2:8-12 KJV]
The most common scenes of a Christian nature displayed during Christmas season are the manger scenes or Nativity scenes. It is easy to see the meekness of the circumstances of Christ’s birth in those displays.
It is more difficult to see the meekness and humility in the very act of the Creator of all becoming a human being at all. There is no analogy which can capture the full scope of what that act means. It was an act that made the immortal God the Son subject to mortality.
The evil in the world tried to exploit the vulnerability of Jesus through the slaughter of the innocents by King Herod. However, this was no ordinary child, it was “a Savior…Christ the LORD” In that identity as expressed by another gospel writer, we can see the Christmas celebration of power in the meekness.
The Word Made Flesh
The beginning of the gospel of John gives a higher look at the meaning of power as meekness, rather than meekness as weakness.
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. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 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 1:1-14 [ESV]
This tells the Christmas story as far more than a birth narrative. It is a cosmic, game-changing event! This living Word, the essence of God was there as Co-Creator at the beginning. He was the essence of power and the light and life of all who came into the world and was rejected by His own people.
The Christmas Celebration of Power
Verse 10 is astounding to me, as much as when I first read it decades ago. He, the Word who WAS GOD was in the world He had made, “yet the world did not know Him!” As if that was not enough, the world rejected Him, starting with His own people. Yet in the face of all that, those who believed gained the “right to become children of God.” Despite the murderous hostility against Him, Jesus was “full of grace and truth.”
The Christmas celebration of power is the power of “grace and truth” that began with a baby in a manger. The power to grant grace, undeserved mercy from God through faith in Jesus, shows how the meekness of God is stronger than the strongest man and demons can throw against it. In the meekness of the Christ child, through the power of the LORD of the universe, we can all find the best of presents. We can find grace for our sins and truth for our lives this Christmas through faith in Him.
I pray that you all will have a very Merry and Blessed Christmas in Christ, 2017.
Featured and Top Images Courtesy of midiman’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License