So the world didn’t end this week, the days are getting longer again and it’s almost Christmas. My parents drove two days through 60 mile an hour wind gusts to be with us and nothing reminds me of the special time that Christmas is than seeing them in person again. The reality is that for most of us, if we are honest, the best part of Christmas is not the gifts, but the people in our lives. I say this as a Bible believing evangelical Christian who is still pondering the reality that God became man and “dwelt” among us. If we really believe this, then the God of the universe gave us the ultimate gift in human form. This God – Man is the most important person to have ever lived and is still the reason that we celebrate. So when I say that the people in our lives are the best part of Christmas, He is the first one that I am talking about. Yet, far too often, the people and things that I can touch and feel crowd out the reality of a savior born in a manger over 2000 years ago.
Somehow it seems that Jesus knew people would need proof of both his humanity and his deity. Before his death and resurrection, he performed countless miracles so that people would know He was God. After his resurrection, he spent time with his disciples, eating, talking, living and even letting them touch him to prove that he was still fully human and not just a ghost. I love the story of the men on the road to Emmaus who met Jesus along the way and did not recognize it was him. He got the chance to show them from their own scriptures that He was the one that had been prophesied about for hundreds of years. Despite this, their eyes were not opened to see who He really was until they sat down to a meal together. It says that “he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them and then their eyes were opened.” What a moment that must have been.
This Christmas there will be lots of people attending church for the first time or maybe the only time all year. Some of them will be confronted by the very same meal that is described above where we break bread in remembrance of Him who came as a baby and died as a criminal. May their eyes be opened to the same truths that are still so real today. May those of us who have professed faith for many years have our hearts “burn within us” again like those men who walked with Jesus. There is nothing quite so exciting as the birth of a king, and there is certainly nothing so miraculous as arrival of God as Man. His incarnation changed everything and for that I will be ever grateful.