The Word 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. John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “this was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’” From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. John 1:14-16
Dear Jesus, I can understand why, of all the accounts of your birth, John’s is least often chosen as the script for Sunday-school Christmas pageants and programs. After all, what parts would the children play? What cute costumes could they wear? There’s no manger, no Joseph and Mary, no shepherds, angels and wise men and lowing cattle. But there certainly IS you. You’re are the only star on the horizon in this nativity scene, and how you shine.
Jesus, I praise you for becoming “flesh” and “tabernacling” among us for just the right amount of time. Though equal to, yet distinct from the Father, you didn’t consider your glory something to be tightly grasped or held onto selfishly. Rather, you emptied yourself by becoming a man—but not just any ordinary man, a servant-man, the Servant of the Lord… the second Adam, our Savior… my Savior.
In your thirty-three years of incarnate life, you accomplished everything necessary for the redemption of the people for whom you lived and died… but also for the restoration of the world you created and love. Be magnified, adored, regaled, worshiped and loved, Lord Jesus. What a wonderful merciful Savior you are! What a God who is so mighty to save!
I cannot sing Isaac Watt’s great Advent hymn, “Joy to the Word,” without thinking of John’s telling of your birth narrative. For you are presently ruling the world with your grace and truth—the grace and truth with which you are full. You’re making the nations prove the wonders of your love… as the gospel runs from heart to heart, and nation to nation.
From the fullness of your grace we keep receiving one blessing after another—one blessing on top of another. The blessings of your imputed righteousness… the blessings of perpetual favor with God… the blessings your intercession and advocacy… the blessings of your Spirit’s work in our lives… the blessings citizenship in heaven… the blessing of knowing the good work you have begun in us, and in the cosmos, will be brought to completion! Hail the incarnate deity! Joy to the world, and to us, indeed! So very Amen, we pray, in your most glorious name.