Already mince pies are in the shops. Already there are fears that, due to a shortage of HGV drivers, there may not be enough turkeys and toys for Christmas. If the world is starting to think about its version of Christmas as early as October, certainly Christians can start preparing for a true Christmas now. So, God willing, between now and December I’d like to reflect on three aspects of the Incarnation – revelation, reconciliation and redemption.
What is God like? He has revealed himself to us in creation, and in his written Word and supremely in Jesus. “[I]n these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Heb 1:2). Philip once said to Jesus: “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us”. Jesus’ reply is staggeringly glorious! “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father”. We ourselves have not seen him (yet!) with our physical eyes but we can meet with him through the accounts we find in God’s inspired Word. And those accounts are so trustworthy that Jesus could say to Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”.
In Colossians 1:5 Paul describes Jesus as “the image of the invisible God”; and in John 1 he is referred to as “the Word” which “became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth”. Man’s sin places us in a state of conflict and confusion. The answer to both is to be found in Jesus Christ, for grace (undeserved love) addresses conflict (with God and with one another), and truth (the way things really are) addresses our confusion, our determination to think and do as each of us sees fit.
God has made himself known. There is so much about God that we do not know or understand, but he has revealed just so much as we need. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29). In these days of widespread and longstanding ignorance of God surely our great need is to focus more on knowing Jesus and proclaiming him. So much that we consider important issues of the day pale into insignificance when we set them against God’s self-revelation in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
“God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.” (Colossians 1:19)
Your brother in Christ,