My 2-year-old granddaughter, Anna, enjoys playing with her family’s Nativity scene. “Baby Jesus sleeping,” she says, pointing to the inch-long plastic figure lying in a wee manger. She picks it up, gives it a shake, drops it on the coffee table, and turns her attention to another toy. So much for toddler theology.
Sadly, some folks embrace toddler theology for a lifetime. To them, Jesus is no more than a sleeping baby in Nativity scenes. “What good is a God like that when cancer strikes or I lose my job or my kids run away?” they ask. Others consider Him a fable or fairy tale…His Bethlehem birth makes for a nice story but it’s only make-believe. Others think He was a fraud, a fool, or a fanatic who claimed to be God’s holy Son. As for me, I believe He was, and is, God’s Son, but I think my understanding of Him often falls short of reality.
The baby Jesus was mankind’s introduction to God in flesh. But the image of the sleeping infant is a far cry from the Jesus who’s revealed in Revelation 1:13-18. Read this description and meditate on it throughout this Christmas season. This, my friend, is the Jesus we’re celebrating!
“…Standing in the middle of the lampstands was the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were bright like flames of fire. His feet were as bright as bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was as bright as the sun in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one who died. Look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.”
I read these words and my heart cries: “Forgive me for minimizing You. Forgive me for placing limitations on You because of my finite understanding of Your majesty and holiness. Open my eyes to see who You really are, and transform my life as a result. I adore You, the living God, the first and the last, the One who holds the keys of death and the grave. I’m Yours. Amen.”
How about you? What emotion or response do these verses elicit in you?