By Jessica Lee, Class of ’20
Just five days ago, we celebrated the magical and joyous day of Christmas. For Christians all over the world, this day represents the birth of Jesus, the coming of the Messiah, the fulfillment of the Old Testament covenant of Immanuel, or “God with us.”
But besides the Christmas tree you still haven’t taken down, or the wrapping paper you have leftover in your closet, or the Spotify playlist full of Christmas songs you still can’t stop listening to–has this day left a mark on you on the 26th? The 27th? And skip three more days, today?
Often we, and especially I, forget to realize the magnitude of what this day actually entails. The gravity of what this day means for us should shake us to our knees with humility, bring us to speechlessness from pure awe, and pound our heads from utter confusion and wonder.
Because you see, this day, 2000 years ago, the King above every government on Earth; the Creator of this Universe who simply spoke and things came into being; the all-knowing God who was from the beginning and is to eternity;
This God came to you and I.
And His feet walked on the very ground that we walk on today; and His lungs breathed the very air that we breathe every second; and His eyes saw the very sun and sky and moon and stars that we see each day and night. This God, whose glory even Moses could not completely behold, whose form and spirit even the highest of priests could only see in a cloud, this God became “flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
Ordinary people, like you and I, saw Him, talked to Him, and touched Him. Ordinary people, like you and I, ate with Him, drank with Him, and slept with Him. And ordinary people, like you and I, betrayed Him, whipped Him, and killed Him.
Can you see that this day means so much more than exchanging gifts, sharing laughter, eating food, and reuniting with family? Can you see that one day, 24 hours, cannot simply contain all the joy, humility, love, and awe that we should experience from what Christmas actually means?
Y’all, Christmas means that we are now given the absolute privilege and honor of beholding the complete fullness of God’s glory. Immanuel means that God was and is literally with us and that our pains, sorrows, and temptations are completely understood by a God who experienced and felt it all and so much more. It means that “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Christmas cannot and must not simply be a tradition to us–archaic and dead. Its significance and weight is so great that it cannot help but penetrate into all of the days following the 25th. It should and must have a meaning and an impact on us today just as powerfully as it did 2000 years ago.
So maybe we should ask ourselves, does it?
And if our answer is no, perhaps we are missing out on the grandeur and mystery of something that has transformed everything from then on to eternity. And if so, I hope we can be as bold as to ask, “God, show me Your glory” (Exodus 33:18).