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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

A Christmas Meditation: The Miracle of Christmas

By George O. Wood
Dec. 19, 2010

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1, NIV).

“An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit’” (Matthew 1:20).

These two verses speak of the same Person. As he begins his Gospel, John presents the eternality of Jesus Christ. He is in the beginning. There is no point of creation for Him. He has always existed.

Jesus is eternally God. If we want to know what God is like, we must understand that God has always been like Jesus: full of justice, but full of love. The Word (or Logos in the Greek) was with God, and the Logos was God. Therefore when Jesus comes He does not reveal God only partially; He reveals God fully.

Before Bethlehem the Logos had another relationship — to creation. Thus John says: “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made (John 1:3, KJV).” And, as the writer of Hebrews says, He not only brought it into existence, but He sustains it (1:3).

Therefore the wonder and the miracle of Christmas is all the more striking when one recognizes that the Baby who was born in Bethlehem had himself created the worlds and flung them into space.

Matthew speaks to us of Jesus in Mary. It is the angel who announces to Joseph that what was conceived in Mary was the work of the Holy Spirit. This is called the Incarnation, God becoming flesh. As a child I never knew what “incarnation” meant. I wondered if it had anything to do with the Carnation company. But I soon discarded that thought.

I learned that “incarnation” is the combination of two Latin words: in, the preposition meaning “in”; and carnos, the Latin word for “flesh.” Incarnation therefore is literally “in flesh.” This we describe as God becoming flesh. And it is the invisible God, the God who is Spirit (John 4:24), who undergoes transformation in becoming flesh. A miracle so awesome we can scarcely pull aside the veil to see its wonder.

That God — who is Spirit, who exists in a dimension and realm outside the time and events we experience — incorporated himself into flesh, is a miracle too great to comprehend. The miracle of the Incarnation is that the God who created the expanses of the heavens and the earth becomes flesh — incarnates himself initially in Mary’s womb, reduced if you will to one-fiftieth of a millimeter in diameter. But the essence of God is fully there in the conception. And from the conception will come the Child, then the Man — Christ, fully God and fully man.

And yet the Incarnation is not an end to the miracle. What the Lord does on the physical level in conceiving the Christ child in Mary’s womb, the Lord designs to do on the spiritual level in our lives. The story of Christmas is not only an historical story; it is a spiritual story.

For God wills and desires that everyone have a personal Christmas. God desires that you have a Christmas — that Christ be born in you. Not born in you as He was born in Mary, but born into your spirit. It is Jesus who said that one must be born of water (natural birth) and of the spirit if one is to see life (John 3:5). The Spirit’s purpose in drawing people to Jesus is that Christ might be formed in you. That Christ might be born in you.

Eleven verses later, John tells us exactly how Christ can be born in us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (3:16, NIV).

This Christmas, this miracle can be yours.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, thank You that, though You are God, You took on human flesh, and by doing so, brought salvation. I ask You to forgive my sin, and invite You to be born in me.

George O. Wood
General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God

Editor’s note: We take a brief break from our series on the Gospel of Mark for this Christmas emphasis.


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