I love words in general, and I love alliterations specifically. I also love this time of advent and the opportunity to ponder the wonder of Christmas. So what could be better than combining these passions by doing a short four-week advent series. Each week I’ll press into a different word associated with the true wonder of the season and, yep, each word will start with the same letter. I won’t give away all four words, but I will say that they not only start with the same sound, but ultimately form a sentence that provides a unique glimpse into the miracle that is Christmas.
Most of us know the word. But when was the the last time you stopped to really ponder the mystery and majesty of the incarnation?
When we hear certain words over and over again, they can become so familiar that we don’t take the time to stop and consider their meaning. For believers, this can be especially true with “theological” words. We do hear them all the time. We probably have a basic intellectual grasp of the concept.
But familiar information is never a substitute for personal revelation.
The other day, the thought of the incarnation popped into my mind and instead of passing it off quickly, I sat with it for a few moments. I allowed myself to become amazed all over again. Honestly, my brain went on tilt. It sounds almost like a contradiction but when I really stop to consider the incarnation, that is when I can’t comprehend it! It is too vast, too unsearchable, too mysterious, too astounding, and too completely unfathomable. Yet it is also remarkably accessible and real.
God Himself – the pre-existent One – the uncreated One – the all-powerful One – THIS God “...emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human! He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man…” (see Phil 2:7-8 TPT).
Wow. (No, really, WOW!)
Consider the implications: We have a God who went (and continues to go) to absolutely ANY length to reach us. That is a miracle worth pondering again and again and again.
This year has been difficult for just about everyone. For some, it has been downright devastating. At this point, most folks just want to get through what is left of it and find a fresh start on the other side. I get it. Trust me, I am all for bringing on the new!
But I also don’t want to miss anything right here.
It is often what’s right in front of us that prepares us for the new that lies just ahead. For me, that means this year, more than ever, I am determined recapture the wonder of Christmas. I am determined to view this time of advent as a sacred journey. I am determined to search for every gift hidden within the mystery. I am determined to slow down and ponder—really ponder—the miracle of the incarnation.
When we think of the Christmas story, usually we turn to the book of Matthew, or to Luke. But it is actually John who gives us the first peek of Christmas in the Gospels:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” —John 1;1-4, 14 NKJV
We, humanity, beheld His glory. And, if we so choose, we can behold Him again. Behold Him, beloved. Behold the Servant King. Behold Immanuel. Behold the One who emptied Himself for you.
Behold the One who came just like He said He would.
The Word DID become flesh and dwelt among us. He dwells among us still.
Jesus, open our eyes to the miracle of the incarnation and reveal your goodness and glory to us again and again and again! ~ Amen
Each week I am doing a live video over on Facebook that corresponds with that week’s word. I recently figure out how to upload those to YouTube, so I’m posting that link here. Sound and video quality are poor but for what it’s worth, here it is: