Behold the Glory of His Nativity

Simply nauseating, isn’t it?

            Already seven weeks before the holy day of Christmas, we may hear the children of Zion singing:

“You better watch out, you better not cry,

You better not pout, I’m telling you why,

Santa Claus is coming to town.

He is making a list and checking it twice,

He’s going to find out who is naughty and nice.

Santa Claus is coming to town.”

And sad it is that the familiar chords of “O Little Town of Bethlehem” are scarcely heard until the last few days preceding the event of Christmas. Santa Claus is heralded into the cities and homes with great honor and festivity. He is lauded into the cities and homes with great honor and festivity. He is lauded with songs and praise and frequently superstitiously even worshipped, and Jesus is given less place than the abject stable of Bethlehem.

Simply nauseating, isn’t it?

For weeks and weeks the excited mobs of men, women and children crowd the world’s metropolises, driving to insanity many a neurotic clerk, and appeasing the carnal greed of the insidious merchantmen. Thousands of dollars are wasted on trivial matters, and the various causes of the Messiah’s glorious kingdom often suffer want. Surely the blessed example of the Wise Men, who brought their gold, myrrh and frankincense to the crib of the Christ-child, is greatly disregarded in our modern celebrations.

Simply nauseating, isn’t it?

On the eve of the Christmas day, which is an excellent occasion for the families of Jerusalem to unite at the family altar with father leading the children to the remembrance of the holy narrative and unitedly to join in the beautiful anthem, “O Come Let Us Adore Him,” but Hiram, the eldest, must see Helen to surprise and please her with that precious ring. And Eleanor must be engaged at the neighbors, “taking care of the kids,” while the elders go out to celebrate. After all, it is Christmas Eve. Then, too, little Nancy and Bernard, who don’t know any better, are not satisfied until they have received and opened all their presents, and it is naturally almost an impossibility to begin anything with them after that.

Simply nauseating, isn’t it?

On Christmas Day, the services in God’s house are not considered to be of equal importance as those held on the Lord’s day, and so mother and an older daughter are permitted to remain home to prepare that “very special dinner.” And seeing that someone is home anyway, the smaller children might as well be home too, because they do have many new toys in which they are predominantly interested. Thus the house of God is meagerly attended on the special day.

We ask, “Isn’t this all very nauseating?” And yet it constitutes such a great part of the annual Christmas celebrations, not only and exclusively among the world that has no other Christmas, but also among the children of the church. How much richer, more enduring and spiritually gratifying  our Christmas becomes when we spend all our energy, which otherwise we exert to wedge our way through the mad mob of shoppers, and all our wealth, which otherwise goes predominantly toward natural luxuries TO BEHOLD THE GLORY OF HIS NATIVITY.

And that is the accomplishment of a mighty faith.

For to behold his glory in such a way that it is obscured by nothing of the flesh and this world demands that all the celebrations of this joyous season are governed by that dominant principle that overcomes the world.

Victorious Christmas!

Moreover, the faith that incites us to behold the glory of Jesus is the very evidence of unseen things. When you and I go presently to Bethlehem to look upon him and to handle him who is the Word of Life, you must, upon failure to see his glory, not become disappointed in him but remember that faith declares of him:

He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him.”

            And yet, strange as it may seem, and even  paradoxical as it may be, HE IS ALSO THE ALL-GLORIOUS ONE, GOD AND MAN, LORD AND KING, OF WHOM AND THROUGH WHOM AND UNTO WHOM ALL THINGS SUBSIST. Shall we not sing of him,” Lord, our Lord, Thy glorious Name. . . .”?

For his glory is the revelation of all his good and perfect virtues. That glory he will not give to another, nor can you see or find it in any other, because his name is The Lord. All the festivities and merry wishes of Christmas are not glorious, and there is in them no goodness or virtue, except that they begin and end in the glorious Jesus.

Would we therefore be really happy in this season of mirth, we must not only be told the Christmas story and perhaps add a bit of religious piety to our hilarity of the day, but we ought to dispose of all our external foolishness and live by faith and trust in God alone. We ought to go to Bethlehem and realize that

“In this the day the Lord hath made

To Him be joyful honors paid,

Let us Thy full salvation see

O Lord, send now prosperity.”

            Then, though we are cast out of the world for his name’s sake, and have no more than a place in the stable with a few bands to cover our naked body, we are rich and prosperous, having more abundance than the ungodly, who without Jesus Christ live in untold wealth. For he was made poor for us, that we might be rich. He who did not consider it robbery to be God’s equal— for he is God—emptied himself and took upon himself the form of a servant, so that being deeply humiliated, he might obtain through obedience to the divine will the crown of glory for himself and all that the Father hath given him. There in the manger is the commencement of that glory. Behold it, believe it, trust and obey it: he is more precious than rubies or gold.

And the longer you and I stand at the side of his manger and look upon him in faith, the greater glory we behold. It surely would not hurt us to rise on Christmas morn with the breaking of dawn and spend the WHOLE day contemplating his glory. We may be sure that we would never exhaust the subject of our meditation, nor would we see more than our faith would desire. On the contrary, we would cultivate a love to know “More about Jesus.” Think of the revelation of glory in his birth. Born without the will of man, of a virgin through conception by the HOLY SPIRIT of God. Consider the PEACE which he came to establish, which not only surpasseth human understanding, but is the very power of God that keeps us—heart and mind—unto the salvation which is to be revealed in the last time through Jesus. Be mindful of the disturbance his coming created in the heavenly world, causing angels in great chorus to sing of his glory and majesty.

Oh, blessed Christmas with Jesus.

“My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness,

I dare not trust the sweetest frame

But wholly lean on Jesus’ Name;

On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand,

All other ground is sinking sand.”