The Greatest Gift
by Mary Alice McGinnis
The lyrics of the Christmas song “Mary Did You Know?” begs Mary to ponder: "Did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?"
John's gospel begins with such an invitation:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”
In the beginning, when God created the world, He breathed the words, “Let there . . !”
All the Almighty God had to do was breathe out the essence of who He is – His WORD – and things came into being!
Jesus, IS this WORD. Jesus (pre-incarnate) was WITH God and WAS God.
Yet the purpose and plan for the WORD of God was not just to create the world, set it all into motion, and then become distant. No! God wanted MORE!
That was just the beginning of the unfolding of God’s greatest gift of all.
Throughout the Old Testament, God showed how much He desired to be with His people. When Moses asked to see God’s glory, he was told, “No one can see the face of God and live.”
Yet God gave them a Tabernacle – a tent of meeting - where He could be among them.
“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:34)
John says: “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”
A more literal translation here could be, “The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.”
John continues: “We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
God chose to make a way for us to know Him intimately. He broke into our world, took on FLESH by being born in a lowly manager. He cast out our sin through His perfect sacrifice for us on the Cross.
This is the miracle of Christmas! The Almighty God, King of all Creation, He comes to us! He has broken into our humanity. He is present. He is with us. He has come to make His dwelling place - His home - inside of us. We are never again alone!
Our Hearts = His Tabernacle. The greatest gift is God gives Himself.
Immanuel - God with us!
“I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” (Ephesians 3:16-17a)
Prayer – Gaze upon the face of Jesus – the very face of God. Pour out this heartfelt prayer to Him right now.
"O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell; O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!"
"Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child, Make thee a bed, soft, undefiled Within our hearts, that they may be All quiet chambers kept for thee."