The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
There is no other time of the year like this. I really enjoy the season of Advent and the many Christmas services. Most people do. It is a special time of year.
It wasn’t quite so special for the shepherds, at least not at first. Suddenly the night sky was lit up with angels. The shepherds were scared. They should have been. God had come. God’s glory was all around them. They were exposed.
That’s what light does—it exposes. It uncovers all ugliness and sin. That’s the part that we hate. The glory of God and the light of his Word shines in the deepest corner of your heart to expose the dark thoughts of your heart. The light of his Word exposes the sins that have owned and controlled you this past year. You know what he’ll find, and it’s dark.
God does not withhold the truth. In fact, Jesus is full of truth. He tells us things just the way they are. He tells us he sees all the sins hidden in our hearts. God doesn’t hide the truth or cover it up.
Instead of covering up the truth of our sinfulness, God covered himself up.. To save us and to spare us from his blazing glory, God covered or clothed himself in flesh. That’s what John is saying: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” God clothed himself. How does the hymn go? “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail the incarnate deity… pleased is God with man to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.”
God clothed himself in flesh. He hid himself in the flesh of baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger. He hid himself behind the frailty and weakness of a human being. Yet, right there, in the flesh of Jesus, all the fullness of the Deity lived in bodily form.
God comes at Christmas, but not to consume us with his anger. That’s why the angels spoke up quickly when the shepherds were so scared. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you! A Savior has been born for you, he is Christ the Lord.” God had come to help his people. God clothed himself in flesh to cover you with blood. Don’t be afraid! His name is Emmanuel, which means God with us. God is with us to save us!
Prayer: Lord God, you clothed yourself in the flesh and came to this earth not to condemn, but to save the world. Help me to marvel at the majesty clothed in flesh; you are Emmanuel! Help me to rejoice that you have clothed me with your blood; I am forgiven. Amen.