“He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.”
~ John 1:10
Have you ever stopped to think about the waiting? That first Christmas so long ago was announced by angels. The shepherds came to kneel at the side of the manger, the wise men traveled from afar to bring gifts to the new-born king, and then…
All the shepherds who had kneeled in the hay went back to their fields. I’m assuming the wise men returned to the land from where they came. Joseph was visited in a dream and warned of coming trouble, so he and Mary took Jesus to hide in Egypt.
All the splendor that was displayed at the birth of our Savior faded, and real life resumed. Did they forget that this child was the Christ? Did they ever wonder what became of Him?
When Jesus Feels More Like an Event
As someone who grew up in church, I can relate all too well to the shepherds, and I have seen others do the same. We come face-to-face with Jesus, we experience Him like never before, and then we go back to the real world. Whether we go home from church camp, or the conference we are attending. Or maybe we just close our Bible and walk away, ready to face the day full of knowledge of our Savior, and we find the world unchanged. It’s just the way we left it. The same as it was before Jesus came in.
We still have bills to pay and jobs to do. We still have responsibilities and hardships. Just like the shepherds so long ago, we know that the Savior has come, but life goes on.
One thing that separates us from the shepherds though, is the Spirit of God. For them, Christmas was an event. A moment in time and they were left waiting for what was yet to come. But, we are on the other side. We know what came next.
But Jesus is More… Christmas is More
As amazing as it would have been to be told by angels that Christ had come, we are even more blessed to know the whole story. We don’t just see Him as a baby lying in a manger, but as the King who died on the cross. We aren’t left waiting for more, but filled with the Spirit of the living God.
Because of that first Christmas, we can look at everyday through the lens of the gospel. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (2:2). We can do that because we have the whole story. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul reminds us that Christ died for our sins, He was buried and raised on the third day just as the Scriptures said He would be (vs 3-5). That’s a life changing revelation that the shepherds only had hope would be fulfilled.
This is Christmas
We can look at life and know Jesus came and died that we may have life to the fullest (Jn 10:10), and that comes from knowing Him. The shepherds came to worship Him, because He is the Good Shepherd (vs 11), and we are His sheep. We can live every day with the knowledge that we are loved by God and that He cares for us.
Christmas is coming, and while that first Christmas introduced the world to the Savior, Christmas was made complete in the fullness of Jesus, from the manger to the cross, from birth to resurrection. Jesus didn’t stay a babe in a manger, He sits on His throne in Heaven above, and His Spirit fills our hearts.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
~ Romans 8:38-39
This is an edited excerpt from Heather’s upcoming devotional, Christmas is Coming. With a devotion for every day of December this book is perfect to help you refocus your heart on Jesus this holiday season. It’s coming to stores everywhere November 15th, 2018, but the Kindle edition is already available for pre-order.
- I’m also linking this post up with Grace & Truth