If God can be in a manger in Bethlehem, he can be anywhere.
So many people missed the joy of the birth of Jesus because they were not willing to see. Herod missed it. All he could see was a threat to his power. Bible scholars of the day missed it. They were too wrapped up their in scholarly debates.
Yet, for the people willing to come and see, they found indescribable joy in the birth of Jesus. Wise men found it. Shepherds found it. An old man named Simeon found it and even blessed God for what he had seen, saying:
“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32
A lesson for us this Christmas Eve is that when God seems to be absent, maybe the problem isn’t one of God’s absence, but of our perception. Maybe we don’t see.
The Apostle Paul describes the problem of unbelief as a problem of blindness.
“The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:4
The joy of running a Christianity Explored course is that as you present the truth and serve others in the name of Jesus, you get to see God do the miraculous work of opening blind eyes.
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6
As you think on this, consider using the last verse of the Christmas carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem” as your prayer for those around you this Christmas.
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.