Hi everyone. Rob here.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
The glory of Christmas is the glory of the Word becoming flesh. It is the glory of the Son dwelling among us, leading a truly human life and bringing the grace and truth of God’s kingdom to earth, so that we too can lead truly human lives. God came to earth to show us how to be human.
Christmas is a very poignant time. It shines a spotlight on our relationships, our inner world, our joys, our griefs and our hope. There is a sadness at Christmas as we remember those whom we have lost or reflect on where life seems to have gone wrong. There is a stress at Christmas as we put ourselves under tremendous pressure to please everyone, from workmates to family to friends. There is also joy at Christmas as we eat, drink and laugh with those whom we love. Christmas reveals the full expression of what it means to be human, and unless we are anchored to the Truly Human One we can be overwhelmed by it all.
Jesus was and is the true human. Yes, he is God, the second person of the Trinity, but he is also fully and truly human and, because of that, he is our rescuer, our hero and our hope. Hebrews 2:11 puts it like this:
Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
Jesus is our brother and our brother now lives in us with his Father, inviting us into a deep and true humanity as we give ourselves over to him everyday. In other words, we are to take on the family likeness and that happens when we allow ourselves to be loved.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are (1 John 3:1)!
Because of Jesus, because the Word became flesh, we know that we are loved, we know that God has yes to our humanity and we know that we can give our hearts over to our Rescuer because he identifies with us in all our human experience, even to the point of death.
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. for surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants (Hebrews 2:14-16).
This Christmas we can release to Jesus all of our pain, our loneliness, our fear, our hopes, our failures, our cries from our hearts, our longings, our cravings and our burdens because he is the Son of man, the true human who takes it all into himself, dies on a cross and leads us all into a new life with God.
For this reason he had to be made like his brothers and sisters in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted (Hebrews 2:17-18).
The glorious humanity of Jesus means that we find our life in him; the life we were always meant to live. We too are designed to be gloriously human, not merely human. We are to shine God to others, to all of creation, but to do so means to die with Jesus and release our sins, our pain, our burdens to him.
May this Christmas lead you into a deeper experience of true humanity as you identify with the Word who became flesh. As you gaze on the manger may you be filled with wonder at the humility, grace and love of our God as you realise that the baby is the hope of the whole world, because he is the truest human of us all.
Grace and peace everyone.