Monday, December 22, 2008

The Word Made Flesh

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1: 14

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” is certainly true! Everywhere I look lately I see evergreens trimmed with lights and bows and tinsel; wreaths hanging on doors; bells ringing on street corners. People seem to be scurrying and worrying trying to get all their last minute gifts bought before Christmas Day. It was after watching others… and myself …that I started thinking about how even we Christians can so easily forget the real meaning of Christmas. I thought about how sometimes I get so caught up in the excitement of holiday secrets and surprises that I don’t even take the time to worship the One whom we celebrate coming to earth in the flesh!

In fact, I really can’t fathom the reality of God …God Himself…coming to earth as a man. That in itself shows His great love for mankind…even before he died for us on the cross. I started thinking about missionary friends that I have known over the years who have left behind worldly goods and have gone and dwelt among the peoples to whom God has called them for a witness. When a missionary is humble enough to live as simple a life as the people he is called to serve, then those people are touched and are more likely to listen to the gospel.

A few days ago I was listening to a program on the radio. The host was interviewing a man who was a pastor to homeless people in a large city. This man made the comment that for the past fourteen years he had lived a homeless life himself. He said he felt that he was better able to minister to the homeless when they could see that he had the same problems that they had…in effect he was “homeless” but he was not “hopeless”. He had the great hope of eternal life through salvation and was able to share this hope with others. “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3: 7”

In Luke’s account of the birth of Christ, the shepherds came and saw the Saviour lying in a manger. But even the shepherds…after the angels had come and given them a personal introduction to Jesus…could not comprehend the wonder of it all.
“And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.” Luke 2: 18

God Himself knew that it would be a mystery to human understanding. But through the birth of Jesus, His sinless life, and His atoning death, we can… with the eyes of faith… trust what He has done to be sufficient to cleanse us from all sin. Then we can truly know and celebrate what Christmas is all about. “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” Colossians 1:27

May each of you have a wonderful, blessed Christmas surrounded by those you love is my prayer!



Cathryn said...

Marilyn, Cathryn from Kentucky... again! :) Are you sure you are not some published writer? :) Your style is so heartwarming and vivid. I really do enjoy it. Thank you for writing about things that you write about. Things that do steer people to the Lord. I am blessed once again reading one of your posts. Blessings ~ Cathryn

Cathryn said...

Marilyn, I'll have to admit that I don't always read blogger's profiles first. Um, well, I just read yours after commenting twice to you this morning. Yes,you are a volunteer at the center (that was one question I asked) and yes you are a writer. I feel like I am asking and answering my own questions. Not a good sign. :) Blessings ~ Cathryn

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I've spent the better part of my life without the mystery of the Incarnation. I've simply accepted it, but with that acceptance, there is the danger of a too familiar cloaking that doesn't allow for the depth of understanding that God has called us to. Over the past few years, I've begun to dig deeper, think longer, and prize the moments of inward contemplation that take me to that deeper level.

Sometimes, I think we "pretty up" Christmas without truly pondering the magnitude of the moment. I know your heart lingers at the manger this week. So does mine.

Love your heart, dear friend. You are a gift to me.


Cathryn said...

Merry Christmas Marilyn. Looking forward to getting to know you better in 2009. Blessings ~ Cathryn

Kay Martin said...

Yes ... Holy God ....fully man; is the miracle of miracles. I love that Jesus was referred to as Son of Man as much or more than as Son of God while He lived on earth.

He does indeed know what we are going through when we cry out with anguish and when we celebrate with great joy.

I know one thing: I'm thanking Him for you and all the ways He shines through you.

Merry Christmas.