A Meditation for Christmas Day

by Jack Moraine

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23 (NIV).
If you’re a Christian one of the big challenges of Christmas is that you already know the story. You know the characters and all the scenes complete with angels, shepherds, heavenly choirs, the stable, and the wise men. The familiarity breeds, not contempt, but well, . . . familiarity.  It’s the sense that because we know the story, there’s nothing new here for us.  

My wife and I love the beach and over the years, we’ve been to the beach numerous times. Whenever we can, we like to watch the sunset as it slips beneath the horizon of the ocean. It’s especially beautiful when there are clouds in the sky that are lit up in hues of pink and orange. Recently, we were able to spend a week with friends in a unit with ocean views where we saw amazing sunsets almost every day.

For me, this never gets old because every time I gaze at one of these sunsets, I am having a fresh experience of it and my heart is filled with wonder and awe at the beauty the Creator has placed within our world.

In 1 John 1:1-2, John writes:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have gazed at, and our hands have handled – concerning the Word of Life! 2 That life was displayed, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and we announce to you the life of God’s coming age, which was with the father and was displayed to us. (John 1:1-2, The Kingdom New Testament).

John is talking here about his personal experience of Jesus, the Word of Life, that was displayed to us. He’s talking about the Word of Life that was first displayed in the manger when a virgin gave birth to a Son, Immanuel -- God with Us. The Word made flesh who was coming into our world.

John uses all kinds of sensory language to describe his personal experience of this “Word of Life” in 1 John. He says I’m proclaiming to you what we’ve heard, what we’ve seen with our own eyes, what we’ve gazed at and touched. This was possible for John because the “life was displayed,” and that all began with Christmas and the birth of Jesus our King. John says that life is the life of God’s coming age which was with the father and was displayed to us.

My prayer for you this Christmas is that you will find something new and fresh within the familiar. That in the midst of your celebration, in the midst of exchanging gifts with family and friends, you will take some time to visit the manger again in your heart and mind.

May you gaze at the Word of Life, the Word made flesh. And may you experience the wonder, the awe, and the beauty of the love of God displayed for you in Immanuel, God with us.