December is finally here. I like the month of December – mainly because I can decorate my house and have lots of fairy lights all over and get away with it. I like lights. It always amazes me how we are drawn to it when we find ourselves in the dark.
I also love the sunsets and sunrises in England this time of the year! So beautiful! The light projected in the sky in such beautiful colours – our amazing God is such an artist! The intricacy of each painting – the display of His mercies and love – even if just as a hint!
There is a chapter in the Bible, in the book of John, that is one of my favourites: John 1:1-14. There is so much in these verses that focus on our Lord Jesus. As we are preparing ourselves for the celebration of his birth we tend to focus on the Baby in a manger. Don’t get me wrong, the manger is as important as any part of the story and the details of that night when the angels appeared to the shepherds announcing the birth of the Saviour are fulfilling what had been written about this promised Child. However, the story we tell at Christmas is just a piece of the picture.
When we turn our eyes to the very well known verses of John chapter 1, the focus is in eternity past, when Jesus – the same Jesus who was born that night and was placed on a manger for a bed – was there when all things were created. In fact, all things were created through Him and without Him could not have been made. Here we see Jesus, the creator, the one who has all the power and authority to create all things.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
We need to remind ourselves of that truth in order to really appreciate Jesus coming to dwell amongst us to, be our Immanuel (which means God with us). Jesus left his throne in Heaven to come to Earth as a baby. He could have just come to Earth as a grown man, after all, with all his power He could have just appeared and performed all the signs and miracles and convinced people He was who he said he was. But he didn’t. He experienced our humanity to the full. He went through the process of growing inside his mother’s womb, he was fully dependent on his parents as a baby/toddler and he had to learn to walk, run, speak and appreciate food. He felt the cold and the heat and all sorts of emotions as a human being. Jesus was fully human. I don’t know about you but if I were God with the power and authority to create the Universe and all the things in it, I don’t think I would want to go through that at all. Would you? Jesus did.
Jesus was God and life was in Him as we already saw. He created all things and that life was the light of all mankind!
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
The interesting thing about light is that it does two things: it attracts people to it and it exposes things (make them visible). When we are in the dark and we feel scared and disorientated and we see a light we walk towards it and it gives us comfort. It shows the way and helps us see more clearly. When we want to hide something we are not very proud of (sin) we appreciate the dark. It hides all the dirt and filth away. We don’t like when the light exposes those corners of our hearts and some people even rebel and turn away from the light or try to ignore it. Even when Jesus walked this Earth people rejected Him.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
A bit joyless you might be thinking. Here we are in December, celebrating Advent and supposed to be preparing our hearts for the big day and we are talking about rejecting the Light of the World? Please don’t give up – stay with me for a little longer. Remember a few paragraphs past I mentioned that Jesus was there in eternity past creating everything in perfect harmony with the Father and Spirit? Here is another verse for us to look at: Genesis 1:26
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (emphasis added)
Jesus has all the power and authority to create the world and when he was amongst us he became the son of a man so we could become sons and daughters of God. Back in John chapter 1 we see that some rejected Jesus but some didn’t. To those who believed in Him he gave them a new identity, a new family, a new heritage. He gave them the right to become children of God!
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God
What an amazing gift Jesus pours on those who believe in Him! We all know how the story goes, Jesus lived his perfect life in obedience and he died our death so we could be forgiven – made right with God. Let this truth fill you with wonder and awe! We can only really appreciate the manger and the life of the son of God and the significance of his death on the cross when we see beyond the nativity scene and understand that this baby is the God who made all things. May this produce in each one of us the only response we should have every time we walk past the nativity set in our living rooms: a deep desire to Know Jesus more and live to please Him. That the king should love me so much that He would go through with His amazing plan to save me.