Last year I decided to buy some binoculars in order to better observe the ducks who live near my house. When they came I immediately took them out in my backyard and was blown away by the quality of the optics. Just using them in my backyard and around my neighborhood, I saw details I had never noticed before.
For example, looking at my own trees, what had looked like just a clump of brown leaves caught in the branches, I discovered was actually a bird’s nest. I looked around my backyard and discovered three bird’s nests I never knew were there. There were three family dramas taking place in my own backyard over the summer, and I never knew it! The binoculars changed the way I saw my surroundings. What was indistinct and out of focus became crisp and clear; what seemed far away had come near.
Often in life we long for a clearer perspective, a more illuminating vision, of what lies around us. The answer to this longing is what the seasons of Advent and Christmas are all about. The Christmas story tells of the coming of Jesus Christ—Emmanuel—God with us. By coming into human history enfleshed in the human being known as Jesus of Nazareth, God has been made known and knowable.
This is the basis for the Christian doctrine of incarnation. It was God’s very self who came to dwell with us in the person of Jesus Christ, who was and is fully human and fully divine. This is the starting point for the salvation of humanity and the redemption of all creation.
Christ is the Word of God—God’s clearest, most direct, most comprehensive communication. Just as the binoculars let me see the details of my own back yard more clearly, Jesus helps us see God more clearly. May this Christmas season enable you to better see God by focusing on Jesus Christ.