Welcome to Friday!
December 12, 2014
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling 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.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
On the night Jesus was born, shepherds were visited by angels proclaiming that God had come near- that a Savior had been born– Go and See! But part of this passage we tend to skip past is these words: “And the glory of the Lord shone around them…” What was that glory? In the past, God’s unique presence with the Israelites in the wilderness was displayed in a pillar of fire and cloud. Later, God’s glory would shine through Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration in dazzling light and brightness. But before Jesus’ arrival, God’s glory had not been seen for hundreds of years (because of His people’s sin and rebellion). But that night, out in quiet fields to a ragtag group of shepherds, God’s glory explodes in the night. The glory of God had come near once more. In Jesus, God’s glory returned to earth.
To see Jesus was to see glory- “God’s glory, full of grace and truth.” The glory of God in human form, hidden in plain sight. Most people missed it, apparently looking for fireworks and a big show. I think we can easily miss it, too, looking for the spectacular. Advent calls us to simply draw near to a baby in a manger and eavesdrop on the murmurings of shepherds and freshly minted teenage parents. To peer in at an apparently helpless child and find, along with others who have eyes to see, we are once again gazing upon the glory of God.
When you think of God’s glory, what comes to your mind? How can focusing on Jesus bring you closer to the glory of God?
Talk with your family about ways to be reminded to think about Jesus regularly during this time of year.