Reflecting on over seven decades of Christmas celebrations, both within the family and within the larger faith community, there are so many words and phrases that come to mind. Among those are the obvious such as joy, gifts, Christmas trees, seasonal music, and all the people who make each Christmas special in its context. At this time in my life, the term “became flesh” when associated with the coming of Our Lord, has special meaning.
When we celebrate as a family, we are God’s creatures gathering to remember and give thanks for the gifts of grace, compassion, and salvation that define Jesus. And, I don’t mean just Jesus as Lord, but Jesus who walked among us, in the flesh, experiencing life much as others in his time did - much as we do today. He felt hunger and thirst, love, loss, joy, anger, disappointment, and all the myriad of other feelings that I experience. He became like me to redeem me.
My family is buying me a new Apple watch for Christmas since my current one has died. I’m giving my children money to buy personal gifts for my grandchildren since they know them better than I do. I’m giving myself the gift of a Christmas Season in Paris so I, my wife, and our best friends can see the lights of Paris during this festive season. I don’t need another Christmas gift this year. But I do need the gift of knowing that the Lord I celebrate during this Season each year, held me in such esteem that he came, in the flesh, and dwelt here on earth.
The Hymn “I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked” has these lines: “I walked today where Jesus walked, in days of long ago. I wandered down each path he knew, with reverent step and slow.”
It’s a sweet hymn which I haven’t heard in years. It reminds me that we should seek to be like Jesus. And yet, try as I may to follow his steps, I believe I am a blessed person, not because I try to walk with him, but because he chose, and chooses, to walk with me.
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NASB)
- Tom Nichols
Click here to listen to Pat Boone sing "I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked."