Advent Reading: December 1
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
After a long, tiring day of shopping, Jim and Sue came upon the gift they had been looking for. There was one particular bicycle that their son, Bobby, had wanted. Now, at last, they found what must have been the only one still available. It was a Ranger Racer, complete with all kinds of shiny gadgets and sparkling features. Quickly, they latched on to the bike and started pushing through the store to the check out area. Unexpectedly, Jim stopped, looked at Sue, and said, “What are we teaching our son about the real meaning of Christmas?”
A couple of weeks later, Bobby woke up extra early on Christmas morning, ran downstairs, and woke the whole household with shouts of joy over his discovery of something special near the Christmas tree. Bobby was grasping not just the handlebars of a new bicycle, but something greater—the meaning of Christmas. The Advent of Jesus Christ is the most materialistic, the most physical, the most worldly message of the Bible. The Word, who we know is Jesus Christ, became flesh. He became human, a person, a baby, flesh and blood; yes, a real, live, crying, eating, sleeping baby boy. For a period of some thirty plus years, God the Son lived here on planet earth. John says that he and his friends beheld Jesus’ glory. Like Bobby squealing with delight over a new bicycle, the disciples experienced the excitement of standing next to Jesus, eating lunch with Jesus, sitting at a lesson listening to Jesus, and watching Jesus teach, preach, and perform miracles.
Jesus is the ultimate Christmas gift. But the gift of Christ is not something that we can put into a holy box labeled “Spiritual.” Rather, a flesh and blood Christ came into this physical world to save us in the here and now, as well as in eternity. His coming here on earth in the flesh gives us the greatest of reasons to truly enjoy all the physical gifts of God, including bicycles.
—Pastor Ben House, Grace Covenant Church, Texarkana, Arkansas
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in our earthly condition, we thank You for sending Jesus to us, for making Him a human, just like us, for showing Him to us. We behold His glory and rejoice. We thank You for all the physical gifts of this season, for the feasts and the presents, the decorations and the celebrations. Thank you that in Christ, we can enjoy all things. AMEN.
Discuss with your family how Christians can truly enjoy material gifts in ways that non-Christians cannot enjoy them. Discuss what the disciples must have felt and thought when they were spending