“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2
I have always wondered what it would have been like to be living at the time when Jesus came to earth. The treasured nativity scene sparks our imaginations, and I believe that a reason nativity sets are put on display at Christmas time is because we wonder what it was like to be a shepherd invited to Christ’s birth, to be Joseph holding Mary’s hand, to be Mary holding the newborn Jesus, to merely be one of the animals who witnessed the whole event... I wonder what it would have been like to see Jesus and to know that this baby is the Son of God.
Living over two thousand years after Christ was born and lived on the earth, we are given glimpses of him throughout the Scriptures as we read the gospel accounts and as we encounter the Word who became flesh (John 1:14). However, it is by faith that we receive Jesus as the Son of God, for we do not see him now. Peter describes in his first letter, “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Peter 1:8).
We were not there when Christ was born. We were not there to see him grow in wisdom and in stature. We were not there to hear him proclaim the kingdom of God. We were not there to see him killed in our place. We were not there to see him risen from the dead. But he has revealed himself to us in the Scriptures; he has spoken to us through his Word. And John gives us this promise, “We know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). Now we know Christ, but when he returns we will see him—in all of his resurrected glory and wonder and majesty... and in that day we will be changed—we will be made like him.
So this Christmas, as we celebrate Christ’s advent, treasure the wonder and imagination of the season. Marvel at what it must have been like to be there at Christ’s birth. Imagine what it would be like to see him face to face. And may the wonder and excitement of Christmas cause you to eagerly anticipate the day when Christ will return to gather his children and look forward to when our faith shall be sight... We will see him as he is!
And when we look into his face, we will be changed.
And that’s a reason to celebrate!
The Frey Life
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"May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word." Psalm 119:74