Tag Archives: Incarnation

Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After–The Christmas Story

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13

Christmas is a time of looking back. The once upon a time of the Christmas story is the birth of our Savior and the events surrounding it. We rightly celebrate the miracle of the Incarnation. Emmanuel, God with us!

However, doesn’t the celebration deserve a looking forward to the glorious future that awaits us in Him?

The revelation of Christ surely includes His birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection, all amazing facets of God’s Grace toward us. But, the hope that sets our hearts to sail ever higher and surer is a hope that rests fully on the Grace that will be brought to us at the final revelation of our Savior. Our hope resides not only in that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, but in what we have not yet seen and patiently wait for; we will be like Him and see Him as He really is. This is Grace that is embodied not only in the birth of God’s Son, but also in His future revelation and our future glorification.

God gives Grace. He increases Grace. Grace upon Grace, His manifold Grace! And then, with nothing of our own work or merit attached to it, when all has been fulfilled, He lavishes us with more Grace. We are swept away in a mighty, rolling river of Grace, and the vast seas of this world are but a drop compared to the ocean of Grace that awaits us at the eternal and full revelation of His Son in the world to come. This is the happily ever after we long for.

To this end we hasten, to this end we hope.

Looking back and looking forward; Grace began the Christmas story, and Grace will finish it, too.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Merry Christmas!

By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel

A Christmas Mystery

christmas 2007

Image by paparutzi via Flickr

“He, through whom time was made, was made in time;
And He, older by eternity that the world itself, was younger in age than many of His servants in the world;
He, who made man, was made man;
He was given existence by a mother whom He brought into existence;
He was carried in hands which He formed;
He nursed at breasts which He filled;
He cried like a babe in the manger in speechless infancy–this Word without which human eloquence is speechless!”  
Augustine of Hippo, Sermon on Christmas

The glitter, the glitz, the shiny bows and brightly wrapped packages; evergreens aglow, tables laden with every sort of food and favor, these are the trappings of how we celebrate Christmas. And enjoy these things though we may, they are mere allegories, like dancing shadows on the walls of Plato’s cave, fragile in their representation of a glorious truth…

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…*

Celebrate the mystery of the Incarnation. The jumping off point of the Gospel, without which there would be no Good News. Rejoice in the birth of Christ as a revelation. Revelatory grace and revelatory love.

What child is this? Born in a manger in Bethlehem. Living life as the perfect God-Man and dying for the sins of the world. He is the clearest picture of who God is. The purest portrayal of the Father. The transcendent God who takes on human flesh, intersects with time and enters history. Our history and our future. His birth changes everything. Glory to the Newborn King! Who can fully appreciate the miracle of the Incarnate God?

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).*  

God with us, worthy of the best celebration. This Christmas, I pray for you a holiday with its eyes on eternity, resplendent in its reflection of the Light of the world. May the reality of the Incarnation inform your heart and mind, manifesting itself in a glorious burst of ineffable praise at the mystery and truth of what God has done.

*(John 1:14, Matt 1:23)

By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel

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