“Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory—the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father” (John 1:14, NET).
I can never sleep on Christmas Eve. The secrets I’d tucked away in the attic are now under the tree, wrapped in shiny paper with red and green bows. And the sun refuses to rise!
I imagine the apostle John had trouble sleeping on a particular night as well. Because he also had a wonderful secret to share.
Months before, Jesus had revealed to John, his brother James, and Peter a great secret. They got to see Jesus in His divine glory, His face brilliant as the sun, His clothing as white as light. And they were supposed to keep it under wraps—until Jesus was raised from the dead. Now, John could finally share the secret he had kept tucked away in his heart. The Jesus they had known as a man was truly God in human flesh. How could he sleep?
John would have lain there, wide awake, I imagine—thinking, praying, listening to the soft breathing of Mary, Jesus’s mother—now John’s “mother”—as she slept with the rest of his family in the common room. Perhaps John smiled at the thought that Mary’s breathing was one of the first sounds the Lord Jesus heard as a baby. The first night Jesus slept on earth—a world that He had spoken into being—He rested in the arms of His mother, listening to the gentle rhythm of her prayers as she held Him close. The Almighty Word of God, soothed with a whisper. And He slept—all His glory, wrapped in a tiny tent of flesh.
Christmas is a time for unwrapping secrets. For sharing God the Father’s great gift to us all—His risen Son, Jesus. The Word made flesh.