The celebration of the birth of Jesus cannot be separated from the celebration of the complete Jesus event. By that I mean His birth is inseparably connected to the entire story. Paul tells the story this way:
“By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, Taken up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16).
There it is! The appearance of Jesus in history is a whole package, the mystery of our faith, unwrapped for us all to see. In Philip Towner’s commentary he outlines this mystery described in the verse above. 1. The conception of the mystery – “revealed in the flesh.” 2. The communication of the mystery – “was seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations.” 3. The conclusion of the mystery – “was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.”
When we celebrate Jesus’ birth, we announce to the world that He came. God became flesh. The story is incomplete and hardly worth telling if we neglect to tell the reason we rejoice at His coming. We rejoice because, “God so loved the world, that He gave us His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
When we see the star, we see the Light of the world. When we see the manger, we see the cross. When we see the baby, we see the blood. When we see Mary with child, we see the tomb. When we see the wise men, we see Christ our king. Merry Christmas!
Norman Drummond, Chaplain