“And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory” (John 1:14)
One of the things which struck me most as we landed back in London on the 18th of December 2014 was the vast amount of things there were to see at this time of year. Commercial Christmas was everywhere to be seen in a way that it was not in Bangkok. Lights, trees, various decorations, seasonal drinks at Starbucks… It was all there and it was quite overwhelming.
With all of these things competing for our attention it is good to pause and reflect on what God is showing us in the coming of the Lord Jesus. There is so much which could be said about this wonderful event but we will look at two main things which come out of this verse.
Heart for the world
Firstly, we see the heart of God for his world. And at the centre of his heart is his mission, the sending of the Lord Jesus for all the peoples of the earth. In joy filled obedience to the Father, the Son takes on frail flesh as a child to live among us. That should stop us in our tracks! Our creator and sustainer condescends and lives among a rebellious people who do not accept him. Advent is all about mission. But sadly, for many people the dots remain disconnected and they see no natural link. Over this period let us be people who rejoice in the great mission of God and lead others to see the heart God has for the nations of the world.
Revelation of glory
Secondly, we see that this advent not only shows God’s mission but it reveals God’s glory. The majority of people like to see the crisp scene of a winter morning with snow covering the hills and the sun rising in the distance. It can be very grand and captivating. As believing people we need to stand in awe of the glory of God revealed to us in the Son. It is so wonderful to hear John, the wise old apostle, still captivated with the glory of his Lord; “we have seen his glory, glory as of the only son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Does the glory of God still thrill us in the same way it used to? When we look to the Lord Jesus do we still marvel that “this is the glory of God revealed”?
There will be a variety of things which compete for our attention during this period, and many of them good and joyful things! So in the midst of them lets us be people who are known for rejoicing in the God who has revealed his glory, the God who sent his Son, the God who cares for all the peoples of the earth!