Turn off the lights. Take the decorations away. Remove Santa. Silence the music. Refrain from the pursuit of gifts for everyone. Take it to bare minimum. It is Christmas. Bare bones Christmas. What do you have? For some, there would be nothing left. Paper, tinsel, yard decorations, all gone. They would have nothing.
It was that way, nothing. The shepherds were just doing their job when heaven interrupted. Mary was going about her life when the angel Gabriel appeared. Zacharias was on duty in the temple when he was approached by the angel. Joseph was approached in a dream and given command. Caesar Augustus was just interested in raising government funds that sent a nine month pregnant girl on the back of a donkey to Bethlehem. No parades, no lights, no decorations. Magi endured hours of travel, following a star of unprecedented brilliance. No media. No silver bells. The quiet of the desert was their companion.
In some ways the world has highjacked Christmas. Very little is quiet and reflective. Very little focuses on Jesus. Family, food, football, festivities have usurped the solemnity and miracle of the day. Oh, family is great, we love being together. Gifts are good, they tie us to the one who gave in a pleasant, memorable way.
But here is the truth. It is a miracle of epic proportions. A God-Man was born defying all the natural laws established by God himself. The Word became flesh. It would be called the Incarnation. It was the moment that answered the despair of man. It was the moment where the effects of the Fall would be rectified for those who would believe. He is the great light that has shone upon mankind. Darkness, spiritual darkness, death darkness, would no longer reign.
To as many who believe he has given the power of an eternal life. Not only eternal life being future, but life abundantly, now! The impact of the God-Man’s life has not lost its affect, its power, its presence. The God-Man has imparted his Spirit to each who calls on his name. This time of year is to remember the incarnation, the break through to humanity, the introduction of hope.
I encourage all to take some time to reflect, to be silent, to meditate. Remember, it is the incarnation. The word became flesh!! -Pastor Bill