God Made into Flesh

“My father said we are all given something, a gift.
What was your gift?
Nothing, nothing but the hope of waiting for one.”
The Shepherd

One of my most treasured Christmas traditions is watching The Nativity Story, a 2006 biblical drama based on the birth of Jesus. It invites us into Nazareth and takes on the journey to Bethlehem. We become part of Mary and Joseph’s world in a very genuine and authentic way. We feel Mary’s trepidation as the angel Gabriel appears, we sense the agony of childbirth as she lays in a manger, we experience the magnificence of His coming as we watch the Persian Magi pay homage to the greatest of Kings, and we embrace the glory of God’s love as He shines His light on the most Holy Child. And although I have seen this film many times, the arrival of our Messiah continues to move me to tears. It is a touching reminder of how God made Himself into flesh so that we, thousands of years later, could be saved.

My favorite scene is when Joseph and Mary come across the shepherd watching his sheep. They are almost at Bethlehem, Mary is close to giving birth; they have traveled hundreds of miles and are hungry, tired, and afraid. The shepherd recognizes that Mary is cold and could use a place of respite. Mary and Joseph agree and gather by the warmth of his fire. It is here that the shepherd, an old and wise gentleman, refers to the baby she carries as a “gift.” When Mary asks the shepherd what his gift is, he responds, “Nothing, nothing but the hope of waiting for one.”

“He is for all mankind.”

Later, the angel appears to the shepherd and tells him that the Son of God has been born. The shepherd gathers his sheep and follows the star to Bethlehem. As he carefully and reverently approaches the child, he denies his desire to touch Him. Mary looks at him and says, “He is for all mankind.” The shepherd reaches out and touches the baby. The shepherd now knows his gift.

Friends, I invite you to watch this beautiful film if you are able. It brings us back to the true meaning of the Christmas season; a season that often gets overcrowded with busyness and festivities. It’s a film that prompts us to share with others the greatest event in history, the birth of our King! And like Mary says in the movie, the good news about Jesus is that He comes for all. We do not need extraordinary qualifications to have Him in our lives. He accepts us completely, just as we are.

The movie ends with Jesus as an infant. We see Him as a baby born in a stable cradled in the loving arms of his young mother; but we must not leave Him there. This infant has a gift for each of us; the gift that He will return to rule the world as your Messiah, your Savior. We must bring Him with us throughout our lives, meet Him daily in prayer, and be nourished by His word. He has opened the way to peace with God!

What do you think Jesus wants for Christmas? Do you know what your gift is; or, like the shepherd, are you still waiting in hope for one? I’m quite certain the gift of yourself is all He ever wanted.

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.”
-Luke 2:14

Merry Christmas, our savior is born!

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