Christmas: the Supreme Revelation
“Earth is crammed with heaven,
And every bush is aflame with God
But only those who see, take off their shoes
The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries.” – Elizabeth Browning
Christmas is all about God’s ultimate and supreme revelation to man, the fulfillment of God’s promise to mankind that he would send a messiah. “In the past, God spoke to our ancestors many times and in many ways through the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son” (Heb 1:1-2). The people of Israel had been waiting for ages, living in hope that the virgin will give birth to a son. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Is. 7:14). In spite of all the prophesies and thereby constantly living in the hope of a messiah in whom the future of Israel depended, who would bring back the glorious days of Israel etc., ironically man failed to meet the very Lord for whom they had been waiting for ages. Only a handful of people could recognize him. The reason perhaps behind this massive failure of people to recognize and meet the Lord, in spite of all their willingness was their inability to do away with their own very fixed views about the kind of messiah they expected and the manner of his coming. They had so much closed themselves up that they couldn’t accept God’s way of coming to them.
In fact this is the tragedy of humanity. We keep on rejecting God because He does not fit into our concepts and categories. Our very personality is determined by our idea about God. The concept I have of God is what, in the last analysis presides over my life and shapes my convictions. The way we address him, how we pray, how we imagine him to be, how we interpret his teachings and what we conclude when we fail to keep them etc. all tell the biography of our own souls. The concept a person has of God is the summary of his own life. We fail to experience Him fully because when we meet life situations that do not fit in with that concept, we reject the concept and reject God. We reject the God we know imperfectly. We reject the image of God we had created for ourselves.
God wishes that we must enlarge our understanding of Him. Christmas is perhaps the time God shatters our limitations of knowing him. In fact, the shattering is one of the marks of His Presence. The incarnation is the supreme example; it leaves all previous ideas of the Messiah in ruins. Christmas tells us that God keeps coming to us, keeps His Promises but in His Ways and in His Time. Come let us welcome him in whichever way or form He comes to us.