I can’t believe it, but it really is December 2020. What a crazy year on so many levels! I know you all can relate! For us, 2020 has included the death of my husband’s mom, the cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery for my mom (Praise the Lord!). It has included distance learning and cancelled vacations. It has included COVID-19.
But it has also brought increased family time and seeing the hand of God work through and past diseases. It has brought time to rest and reflect and pray and grow closer to God.
And now, in December, it has brought the celebration of the birth of Jesus.
John 1 tells us about Jesus before he came to earth as a baby.
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. -John 1:1-5, NLT
Jesus, or The Word as John refers to him, existed before the beginning of the world. He was with God, and in fact, he was God. God created the world through Jesus. Everything came through him.
So in these verses, we learn that Jesus is a separate part of the Trinity but is also completely equal to God. We learn that he has always existed, and we learn that he was intimately involved in creation.
And then Jesus came to earth as a baby.
This is what we celebrate when we celebrate Christmas. We celebrate the fact that Jesus was God, the God who created people. We celebrate that he came to earth to save the very people he created, dying a terrible death on the cross. And more than that, his death on the cross and the fact that God the Father heaped all of humanity’s sin on him, caused him to be separated from God for a moment. That was the worst punishment of all.
In the season of Advent, or this period of “waiting” for the arrival of Jesus, we can prepare our hearts for Jesus by remembering who he is and what he gave up when he came to earth as a baby. The level of sacrifice was so immense–it’s impossible for us to fully grasp. Read this from Philippians 2.
“Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” – Phil. 2:6-8
Jesus willingly gave up his God-position to become like a slave. As God, he never slept, never was hungry or sick, never experienced persecution. But when he became human, he experienced all those things. He struggled, he was hungry, and he had no real home to call his own.
As we prepare for Jesus this year, this crazy year of many ups and downs, we can be comforted by the fact that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Jesus is God. He loved us so much that he chose to be born as a slave and ultimately die on the cross for us.
The more we get to know Jesus, the deeper we can know what he really sacrificed.
In our hearts this Advent, let’s make room to get to know more of Jesus. I’ve been reading in John 1, but I’ve also seen something on Facebook that I’m going to do as well. It said to read the book of Luke. There are 24 chapters: one for each day leading up to Christmas Day. Luke tells the life of Jesus very thoroughly. Let’s study it and walk in Jesus’ footprints to get to know our Savior better–the best gift of all.
**Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash