We have seen His Glory! (Luke 2:1-14)

We have seen His Glory! (Luke 2:1-14)

“Glory to God in the highest”

Some 2000 years ago, a baby was born in a barn, from a little known Jewish virgin, in the little town of Bethlehem. This virgin had made it all the way from Galilee with her fiancé on horseback. Some unknown Shepherds came in the middle of the night to greet the baby after angles appeared in the heavens to tell them about him. And one more thing: this baby turned out to be the Savior of the world!

Let us face it. This story seems very odd and incredible for those not familiar with it. It simply does not make any sense. Yet this is precisely what Christians believe took place and what they celebrate every year. And this is precisely what makes Christianity and Jesus unique.

God became flesh and lived with us! “We have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). We have seen his glory not from castles and the marching of armies, or through worldly accomplishments, the building of cathedrals, or the establishment of Empires. But we have seen it from a barn in Bethlehem, and through shepherds visiting in the middle of the night. We have seen it in the establishment of a Kingdom that is based on humility and love. By the standards of the world this is not glory, and therefore we read that “there was no room for them in the inn”. God’s glory however is seen in His humility. Only those who are humble enough and powerless can see it.

God is great! His greatness is manifested in His incomprehensiveness and transcendence. Yet it is also manifested in His humility and incarnation. “For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isaiah 57:15).

I pray this Christmas that we are all from the kind of people with “contrite and lowly spirit”. Only then can we “see His glory” and be revived. For the believers in Bethlehem today, the birth of Jesus therefore is and can only mean good news.

(Munther Isaac)