As people around the world celebrated Christmas with all its symbols, (regardless of what they think the exact season and year is of God’s divine condescension among us trulywas), I would like to share what this season represents to me as a spiritual reality.
As I was reflecting upon the incarnation of our Savior Christ Jesus as the supreme gift of our Heavenly Father to mankind, I could not help but think of the limited perspective that we sometimes have of the infinite measure of all of God’s attributes and works in the vast universe which He created—but also how it touches each of our lives.
The first thing I consider when I ponder the miracle of the supernatural birth of Jesus Christ is that God chose to manifest Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ in the flesh as a seed of the Holy Spirit in the chosen womb of Mary.
Imagine the Creator and Sustainer of the endless universe becoming a frail human subject to the natural laws of human birth and physical existence.
What I find amazing as I follow the course of His birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and His coming back to take His own faithful ones to be with Him, the same stages of growth apply to us who have experienced the second spiritual birth and have passed from death to life, from the kingdom of darkness into His marvelous light.
As a mature tree is essentially contained in the seed just waiting to develop through the different stages of growth, so it is with the life of the Lord Jesus and so is every one of our lives.
An illustration from the sharing of presents on Christmas day comes to mind. Imagine one of the presents being a huge box with someone’s name on it. The person feverishly tears off the paper hoping to discover a big present that will provide a level of satisfaction commensurate to the size of the box. But inside the box another smaller box is revealed hidden under the packing material; he suspects someone is playing a joke on him as he now realizes something smaller is in that huge box.
As he opens another box, and then another, he finally opens the last tiny box and no matter what the monetary value of that present is, he is left with a sense of unfulfilled expectation and diminished satisfaction.
This in brief, is an example of how acquiring and enjoying of material thing which are supposed to fulfill our lives from the cradle to the grave end-up being a great disappointment, and a snare in the end. Not so with the present from our God—the free gift of salvation available to anyone who is willing to accept it.
Conversely, imagine that you received the gift of God—salvation by grace in a small box. After receiving and opening the gift, once your life is changed by that tiny spiritual seed, you realize that as you grow, the gift keeps on growing as you learn and mature into eternal everlasting life; the box of our lives, so to speak, gets bigger and bigger.
Now, consider another angle to giving and sharing presents.
Jesus talking about greed and said that “life doesn’t consist in the abundance of things” (Luke 12:15). He also told the people “not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
I believe Jesus was not only talking about treasures, but incorruptible treasures. He is talking about treasures that have their beginning as an intangible seed beginning here on earth and continue on into heaven, enjoying all the stages of the growth of the seed in two dimensions simultaneously; in the physical body while at the same time in the invisible realm of the spirit.
I think He means treasures like the Christian virtues, generosity of spirit, goodness, mercy, humility, faith, wisdom, spiritual knowledge, love, patience, fruits of the Spirit, which are all intangible, but whose effects are felt when translated into good works and service to our brothers, sisters and fellow Man.
Of course, included are all the material gifts that He has blessed us with in abundance to share with those less fortunate than us, and to provide the means to advance the kingdom of God through preaching of the gospelwith gifts to missions throughout the world. Everything that will become the stones building the foundation of our sphere of influence in the coming kingdom.
In1 Timothy 6:18, Paul tells Timothy to “Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.” In this way, they will lay up for themselves a firm foundation for the coming age so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. It is obvious that one can build a house or a building only as tall and as large as the dimensions of the foundation supporting it, otherwise the building would collapse.
In the Bible we can find several mentions of this manifestation of life as encapsulated in the title of our Lord who is the Alpha, the beginning and Omega, the end, and of course everything in between.
We can find the image of the seed in 1 Peter 1:23:
“For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is through the living and abiding Word of God.”
Isaiah 9:6-7 gives us the promise of the coming Messiah follows this development:
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”
Salvation, knowledge and wisdom are part of the incorruptible treasures that Christ talks about in Matthew. Talking about Christ, Isaiah 33:6 declares:
“He will be a sure foundation for our times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge: The fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.”
This salvation which starts as a spiritual seed planted by the Holy Spirit Himself into the hearts of men who have received Him on His terms is ever expanding and revealing the loving heart of our Heavenly Father at this time of the year and all year long.
“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5).
Paul prayed for the Ephesians in Ephesians 3:14-17:
“He would grant you according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened with power through His spirit in the inner man so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith and that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
This is also my prayer for all of us today and for the coming year.
Contrary to the philosophies of this passing and dying world, the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus started as a tiny seed. First the human seed inherited from our natural father, Adam and then from the Holy Spirit seedat our new birth which contained all that is necessary to fulfill the purpose for which our Father and Creator put us on this earth.
1 Corinthians 15:45: “So it is written: ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.”
So throughout this Christmas season until the beginning of 2016 and beyond, I invite you to remember with grateful and humble hearts, that the tiniest and most humble manifestation of life, a human seed, a tiny baby in his or her mother’s womb is infinitely precious and worthy of protection and nurturing because he or she was made in God’s image (Psalm 139).
I invite you also tolet your hearts and minds expandonto other amazing dimensions of life and consider all the stages of the life of the Savior in His birth, His death, His resurrection, His going back into the glory of heaven and His coming back to give us glorified bodies; for we have already been resurrected (spiritually)if we have been born-again, starting as a tiny seed wrapped up in a small and fragile package; we all are pilgrims on this earth.
This special season Jesus offers us hope, joy and peacein a world sadly lacking theses blessings.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
Lord God, our loving Heavenly Father, we thank you and praise you for the gift of life present and eternal in Our Lord Jesus-Christ.