The English have the 12 days of Christmas in song. The high churches have the 24 (ish) days of advent. Here at Crave Something More, I’ll be writing a series called the “21 Days of CSM Christmas.” Starting December 5 and finishing on Christmas Day, I will write once a day about all things Christmas, in the hopes that we will all continue to see Jesus as the greatest satisfaction to our soul’s deepest cravings.
Day 14: God’s Work At Christmas
Our small group met this past week and talked about the Christmas story from the perspective of each of the characters in the story. What was it like for the shepherds to receive the angel, and witness the multitude, and go see the Savior child? How must it have felt for Mary, or Elizabeth, to become pregnant the way they became pregnant, and to deal with all of the consequences of that in their own lives?
It was a really interesting discussion, and we tried our best to ground our thoughts in what the Bible does say about each person. But out of all the characters we did discuss, the one we left out was God Himself.
It’s difficult to think about what it might have been like for God at the coming of His Son, because His being outside of time (as our eternal God) and a God inside of time (as Jesus taking on flesh) make these kinds of statements difficult (and complicated). But perhaps we can make some observations about God’s supreme role in Christmas and reflect on the delight He must have had in telling this best of stories.
So here are four, among hundreds, of the things God was working out at the first Christmas.
- God planned Christmas long ago. Revelation 13:8 tells us of a book of life, a book which contains names that were written before the world even began, names that reflected God’s people. God knew He would send His Son into this world to redeem those whose names were in this book of life, and He planned beforehand how to do it, so there must have been some sense of anticipation, insofar as we can say a timeless God “anticipates” things.
- God foretold Christmas. Not only did God plan the incarnation, but He told His people about it. Genesis 3:15 tells us of the coming seed who would bruise the head of the devil. Isaiah 7:14 promises the virgin’s son, a son who would be “God with us.” There must be a certain kind of delight in planning this amazing story—another in telling it so others can anticipate it as well.
- God worked out the story of Christmas in triunity. The Father was about the business of sending—sending the Son into the world, sending His Spirit to come upon Mary, overshadowing her with power, and sending angels to help people prepare for, recognize, and embrace the coming of the Divine Son in a way no one would have expected. The love shared between the Father, Son, and Spirit was not greater or less at any time in history, but each must have felt a certain sense of excitement at the revealing of this great mystery in the cleverest of ways.
- God brought Himself glory through the Christmas story. Our God, who delights in using the weak to shame the strong in this world, and the foolish to shame the wise, sent His angels to first proclaim this Good News to shepherds. And after the news is shared, a multitude of angels appear who sang “Glory to God in the highest!” And the shepherds went on to praising and glorifying God themselves. God’s delight in His glory, and His sharing with us in this delight, is the gift we celebrate this Christmas—the gift of a Son who would show us exactly what God is like, a Son whom we can worship, and relate to, and accept, and love.
May we anticipate the joy of this Christmas in some small measure of the way God “anticipated” the joy of the first Christmas, and may we continue to find our greatest joy in Him!
For the rest of the 21 Days of Crave Something More Christmas, go here.