Over two thousand years ago, a baby lay in a manger in the town of Bethlehem. The skies were alight with angels singing and glorifying God. A group of rag-tag shepherds bowed down before Him, then left, praising God and spreading the good news of a Saviour’s birth. Wise men from distant lands followed a star until they came upon the place where He lay. There, they presented extravagant gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Who was this baby? Why was He so special? Why, in the twenty-first century, do we celebrate His birth?
Thirty years later, those questions were answered. A carpenter from Nazareth called together a team of twelve and began a ministry that stretched from Sidon to Bethany. As they traveled, He taught the truths of God’s love. He healed the sick, delivered the tormented, raised the dead. He calmed the raging sea of Galilee. He spoke and a fig tree withered. He climbed a mountain and was transfigured into a radiant being, talking with Moses and Elijah, venerated prophets of old.
Who was He? As He taught, He answered – I Am.
I AM the bread of life. – John 6:35
I AM the light of the world. – John 8:12
I AM the way, the truth, the life. – John 14:6
I AM the good shepherd. – John 10:11
I AM the door. – John 10:9
I AM the resurrection. – John 11:25
I AM the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end. Who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. – Rev.1:8
When Moses asked God what His name was, He replied “I AM Who I AM.” (Exodus 3:14).
In Isaiah 44:6 we read: Thus says the Lord…”I AM the first and the last. Besides Me there is no God.”
Therefore, the tiny baby, born of the virgin Mary and placed in a lowly manger is none other than God Himself – Emmanuel – God with us. As we celebrate another Christmas season, may we too bow in awe as we remember. God loved us so much He humbled himself and came as a child so we might receive the greatest gift of all – the salvation of our souls and life eternal.