There is something magical about Christmas and for me listening to Handel’s Messiah is the perfect way to reflect upon the perfect celebration. What astonished me the most this year are the flash choirs, popping up in America’s malls, singing of all things, the Chorus: hallelujah! It is a hard season for me not to find joy. But despite my craving towards joy I also feel buried under a host of responsibilities and expectations. It’s this tension in the season that brings a place of needing a sober reminder of what this celebration is supposed to be about – past the popular “holiday” and towards the not as popular God-man: Jesus.
I love that no matter how you look at Christmas this celebration is about God in the flesh. To not pause and take a moment to contemplate this would be a huge mistake. Because what we are truly celebrating at Christmas is the humility of God willing to give up his throne so that he can honestly appreciate the things I am experiencing as I live my life on planet earth. I am convinced that this celebration is really about God desiring to understand first-hand the human condition. What emotions, feelings, situations, or stressors have I gone through that Jesus has not? The answer thus far is none. He understands it all and when I view Christ in light of this…he seems more real, more reachable and more available than ever before. When I un-wrap the gift of Christ’s humanity on Christmas morning I am immediately invited into a new freedom and closeness with the King of the universe. This closeness means I know him beyond the grace he offers and as the human he was and is still this day. No matter what, Christ in me now becomes my true hope of glory.
What of glory on this Christmas morning? He came as a baby, deep behind enemy lines. Dodged death and grew as a person. Scriptures indicate his humanness – he was sad, tired, thirsty, amazed, hungry, jealous, upset, and lonely – if I continue, this list could be as long as human emotions are varied. Jesus is the hope of all my glory. He is real and really available all of the time. Born in a manger means he understands me, gets the real me, acknowledges my plight and at the end of the day proves his love for me…over and over again.
And if Jesus was born, lived, and died for a guy like me – he certainly did for you as well.