. . . and we beheld His glory

My wife calls me a grinch after the children’s story of the gremlin that tried to steal Christmas.  I’m not against Christmas.  I am against 1) the commercialization of Christmas and 2) the ongoing secular takeover of the Christmas holiday and subsequent separation of the “baby Jesus” from the beaten, scorned and betrayed Savior who arose triumphant from the grave.

Christmas does have it’s own joy and life as it embodies the hope of genuine reconciliation to God.  But this was kept secret until after His death and resurrection.  So much of the story was was kept hidden such that there may have been many thousand people who saw the young Jesus but had no idea that he was indeed the Christ [ the prophesied, anticipated and heralded Messiah].  The context of the story was that four hundred years had passed since a prophet had transmitted a word from God.  After such a long time, it would seem that God had forsaken us, that we were forlorn and lost.

But there were indeed “Good tidings of Great Joy” that the foretold Savior had come.  Isaiah declared “His name would be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.  Of his Kingdom there would [will] be no end.”  [Isaiah 9:6-7a]

But only a few people actually celebrated the first Christmas.  The marvelous virgin-birth of the God-man, King of Kings was only REVEALED to a few as told by Luke the physician.  First were the shepherds watching their flocks.  Next the devout Simeon, who prayed for a chance to see God’s fulfillment of the promise.  Because he sought to see the Messiah and vigorously followed the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Anna the prophetess was at the temple also.  She saw the child and began an anthem of praise, declaring to everyone how the child would bring Jerusalem out of bondage.

The Magi were the last.  I wrote about them last year {http://www.phatonfruit.net/2015/12/25/the-faith-of-the-magi/}.  They traveled far to worship the coming King.  They arrived bearing gifts and were overwhelmed as they saw him.  They like those mentioned above, saw him for who he is.  He was not hidden in plain sight, He was revealed for who He is . . . and they beheld His glory.