“Live and in person” Advent devotion for December 13, 2020. Read John 1:14 and Psalm 33.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Having gone to church and Sunday School all my life, it is easy to take the human Jesus for granted. He’s born, grows up, walks around, eats fish, drinks wine, and bleeds when whipped. He sleeps, cries, draws, spits, and sweats. Just like each one of us.
But that person was God (John 1:1). The Eternal now has a birthday and a funeral. The One who said, “Let there be light” must now learn to speak. The omnipresent God now has a local address. The omniscient God sits and asks questions of the teachers in the temple. The Almighty might now be found taking a nap. The King of kings and Lord of lords submits to a local governor.
Just think of how amazing it is when an idea or words become something tangible. A recipe becomes a delicious meal. A script becomes a play. A book is made into a movie. Lyrics on a score become a song. A prescription becomes medication that makes you feel better. A promise results in a marriage and then a family. A wish becomes a birthday gift. A loved one’s words are etched onto a tombstone.
But the promises and prophecies of a birth and a child who will be God with us was hard to first century folks to grasp. They seemed underwhelmed. “Isn’t he the carpenter’s son?” “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” “Is the Christ going to come from Galilee?” “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Meeting celebrities can be disappointing. “He’s so much shorter than he’s looks on TV!” “She was so rude. She wouldn’t even sign an autograph.” “How could he leave her?” Substance abuse, depression and family problems are just as much a part of life for the rich and famous as they are for us. Life in the flesh can be ugly.
The prophets said the Servant of God wouldn’t be attractive, would be despised and rejected, and wouldn’t have any honor in his own hometown. Welcome to the real world, Jesus.
But that’s where we see the glory of God. We are more important to him than honor, praise, respect, acceptance or popularity. We are more important to him than his own life. We are his treasure. The apple of his eye. His dearly loved children.
As we all know, Lord, life in the flesh isn’t easy. Thanks for becoming flesh for us, so that we might always have life with you. Amen.