“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
The Divine Mystery, by Randall D. Kittle

At Christmas-time we as believers celebrate the greatest mystery of all time. Now, the great mystery of Christmas is not “How does Santa make all those toys?” nor even “How does he know who’s been “naughty” or “nice?” Neither is it that ever haunting question “How does a sleigh pulled by reindeer fly?” Putting aside our favorite fairytale, there are yet other wonders of this joy-filled season that, while good and marvelous in their own right, are not the true great mystery of Christmas-time. The most amazing thing about the Christmas season is not the fact that wars halt, splintered families re-gather, old friendships are renewed, or even that most of mankind for one day thinks of peace and brotherhood. The great mystery we celebrate — which is beyond any of us fully grasping — is the incarnation, the Creator of all things coming to His earth as a tiny baby. The King over all kings with a name that is above every other name coming into this world as a human child. It is said that Martin Luther once sat in his library all day praying and pondering, reading and meditating, only to finally emerge with a look of exhausted wonder declaring “The God who made man made a man, who can comprehend it?”

As profound as this mystery is, the results from it are even more earth-shaking. When Jesus was born as a child in Bethlehem, He changed the lives of His family, the region, and eventually the world. When Jesus entered Mary and Joseph’s lives, they were never the same again. Their old lives of fitting in and being just like the others disappeared, and they were persecuted by satanically inspired enemies and ridiculed by most in their community for allowing Jesus to be born into their lives. As Jesus came into the region around Israel, the whole political system in it was shaken. When Jesus came sharing the Good News that God was not only for us He was now with us, and making a way for us to be with Him, the religious system of the day was also unsettled, and became perplexed, alarmed, and enraged.

The true wonder of Christmas is that our infinite, eternal Creator-God loves us so much that He bought us back from our rebellion, even though it cost the price of the humbling and humiliation of the incarnation, and the pain and suffering of the crucifixion. What an amazing love! The true peace of Christmas-time is that God, through Jesus’ atoning work on the Cross, has made peace with man. The true joy of Christmas time is not only Emmanuel — God is with us — but God in us and living His life through us!

When we accept God’s peace plan and invite Jesus into our lives as Master, Mediator, and Messiah, we too will be changed, never to be the same again. As the life of Christ is lived out through our lives, we will experience persecution and ridicule as the political and religious systems of our day are shaken and angered. Christ in you is the hope of glory, and Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection were done to provide for His life to be lived out from your life. The mystery of Christmas is God becoming man. The mystery of the ages is God living His life through man! Such is the wonder of our faith.

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