Today’s blog is adapted from Jennifer Kennedy Dean’s new book “Pursuing the Christ: Prayers for Christmastime.”
Christmas is the day we have marked on our calendars to celebrate that pivotal event upon which all human history hangs. On a certain day in time and space, the eternal Word entered into our circumstances, clothed in flesh and born of a woman. In marking time, there is before, and there is after.
All time is measured from the moment when the Word became flesh and took up residence among us.
It is easy to be distracted from the celebration’s true purpose. Too many of us know the Christmas season can quickly disintegrate into stress, greed, busyness, competition, and emotional overload. We enter again into the season we regard as holy but that too often becomes encumbered with the mundane.
Focus on the Glory, not the Glitz
This year, as we approach the celebration of His coming, I challenge you to focus on the Glory, not the glitz. Keeping our hearts anchored on Jesus, let’s celebrate Him in all our festivities. Let’s let the wonder of His incarnation be the center of our thoughts. The wonder that Jesus so valued each of us He left His throne from which He heard the continual cry of, “Holy, holy, holy,” to take on a man’s frame and hear instead, “Crucify Him!” (Revelation 4:8; Matthew 27: 22–23 NIV).
He who “lives in unapproachable light” (1 Timothy 6:16 NIV) was willing to approach mankind so that frail humanity could see the glory of God. Christ has revealed the invisible God, bright glory filtered through His body of flesh so we would not have to hide our faces from the unapproachable light. Because we could not bear the sight of His glory, He veiled His glory in flesh and brought the beauty of heaven right down into the muck and mess of mankind.
God with us, all for love’s sake
Why would the Beloved become the Despised? Why would heaven’s Darling become the lightning rod for heaven’s wrath? Why would the King become a servant? The Scripture describes it this way: “He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:7 NIV).
If the King of kings had taken the nature of an earthly king, that would have been a stunning act of condescension. If that were the story, we would be marveling at His unfathomable act of humility.
He did not take the form of an earthly king. He took the form of a servant. Breathtaking. Incomprehensible. Incalculable. The very God of the universe, by whom all things were created and through whom all things hold together, divested Himself of His rights and privileges to move from “God for us” to “God with us.”
All for love’s sake.
What are some ways you can purposefully focus on the Glory of Jesus this Christmas season instead of the glitz of a commercial holiday? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Jennifer Kennedy Dean is Executive director of The Praying Life Foundation and a respected author, Bible teacher, and speaker. She is the author of numerous books, studies, and magazine articles specializing in prayer and spiritual growth. Find out more about Jennifer or purchase her newest book “Pursuing the Christ: Prayers for Christmastime.”