Thursday, 6 December 2012
Glory in the Highest
Human words are sometimes so inadequate to describe reality. How do your describe the smell of a flower? How do you convey the spectacle of the Milky Way galaxy stretching across the heavens on a cold clear fall evening? How do you communicate the feeling that you have when you hear the first cry come from your newborn? The simple fact of the matter is that human words can only do so much. It is up to God to convey the full magnitude of what these experiences mean to our soul. This is especially true of Christmas. I cannot imagine what the shepherds on that lonely hill in Judea must have experienced that first Christmas eve. One minute they were going about their mundane chores in taking care of their sheep, the next the heavens opened up in all their glorious brilliance and the angelic host was revealed.
I have to say that the actual magnitude of what this was like was lost on me as a child. The shepherds' response was one of sheer terror. And I would have responded exactly the same. In a moment, in a flash of light, REAL reality is revealed in all its overwhelming awesomeness. Suddenly you see things as they really are--and you are stunned. I find it so sad when people meet the Christmas season with a dull spirit. What they are missing is the magnitude of the only thing that ultimately matters: that God revealed all of Himself in the person of Jesus Christ and that the Son of God would die in our place for the sins of the entire world. This is as real as it gets. Our world is clamoring for "reality" but never seem to be able to find it even though it is right in front of their noses.
What should our response be to the Christmas message? The same as the shepherds. They were moved to explore this revelation from God saying, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us," (Luke 2:15 NKJV) What kind of attitude do you think existed in the group? Mild interest? Skepticism? Apathy? Was it, "Hey guys we probably should go and check this thing out eh?" Or was it something entirely different? The angelic host had just sung "Glory to God in the Highest!" ALL of God was revealed and wrapped up in the form of a tiny baby, and creation sang with anticipation. How could they be ambivalent about that?
The wonder of Christmas brings to face the reality that God in the Highest became the lowest--all because of love. It gives us pause to reflect upon the love of God--that He is intimately interested in each and every person and wants to make His residence within your heart. Do you get the absolute unfathomable magnitude of it? The same God who made the universe by merely speaking it into existence has lowered Himself so that you and I might experience a rebirth of the spirit! The peace and joy that comes from receiving Jesus cannot be described with mere words--you have to believe in order to "see". Bowing your heart before the King of the universe brings with it a freedom of the soul where our hearts break the chains of sin. My prayer is that you will bow your heart before the King this Christmas and sing with the angels and shepherds, "Glory in the Highest!"