a good time reading my own book, My Journey. It's my autobiography, from birth to
the age of 75. And as I reread about my own life, I find
myself asking the question: What
would my journey have been if Christ had never been born?
What does it mean to you that Christ was born? To me,
it means that God, looking down from heaven, saw all the
hell on earth and so He decided to send heaven to earth.
That's when Christ came to establish a Kingdom of God. And
so you and I, as believers and followers of Christ, are
a part of heaven on earth.
In the Old Testament, the Prophet Isaiah tells us of
the coming of the Messiah, "The
glory of the Lord shall be revealed ..." (Isaiah
40:5) The prophecy implies that the glory of God had not
been completely revealed until the Messiah would come. The
Old Testament reveals the authority of God. It reveals the
sovereignty of God and the moral nature of God in the Ten
Commandments. The encouragement of God is revealed in the
Psalms and the hope of God is found in the prophecies. But
the glory of God would never be revealed until God showed
His human face. And so God decided to come to earth in flesh
and bones and blood. That was the prophecy of the Messiah
in the Old Testament.
And I believe that when Jesus was born the Old Testament
prophecies were fulfilled, "and the glory of the Lord
has been revealed." Yes, Jesus Christ revealed the
glory of God by revealing God, not as a punitive judge waiting
to condemn, punish, rebuke and admonish. NO! The glory of the Lord would be revealed when God's
positive emotional heart of love and faith, hope and forgiveness
was exposed. That's what happened through Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ revealed a God of Love
He taught God's love. He lived it. And those who saw
it and felt the love of God through Christ were moved by
it. They were inspired and redeemed by it so they made a
record of Christ's life. It's called the Gospels - the four
Gospels of Good News.
Jesus revealed the glory of God ... not through writings
- He never wrote a book ... nor by preaching ... He didn't
preach sermons - there is the so-called Sermon on the Mount
which is a collection of His teachings - but by witnessing
... He lived the love of God.
He touched, encouraged and loved the people. And the God
that comes through the life and the words of Jesus is more
glorious than the God you will find in the Old Testament.
Your image of God is not complete until you see Him in Jesus
Jesus Christ revealed the infinite and equal
value of all individuals
Secondly, Jesus Christ revealed the infinite and equal value of all individuals.
Yes, all persons. The value of a person is not based upon
rank, academic credentials, or monetary standing. It is
based on the fact that each one of us has within us, as
every human does, an immortal soul. Jesus taught it.
There are two stories Jesus tells that, I think, stand
out. Both have been captured in bronze by sculptors and
they stand in the gardens and the grounds of our Crystal
Cathedral grounds. One is the "Lost Sheep" sculpted
by De L'Esprie.
The story Jesus told was that the shepherd had a hundred
sheep. He locked them up as he did every night and counted
them. But one night there were only ninety-nine. One was
missing. So why be concerned for one missing sheep? He'll
show up tomorrow for food ... right? Not necessarily. So
Jesus, tired from a long day's work, went out into the dark
to find the one lost sheep. He looked up and down into the
canyons, the barrancas and the valleys until He found the
sheep caught in a thorny thicket, still alive. He lifted
it up, put it on His shoulders and came back home. And the
Bible says that He called His family and friends and the
children to come out ...
"Rejoice, I have found my sheep which
That's the kind of God we have revealed in Christ. That's
the value of every single individual revealed by Christ.
That's the glory of the Lord that has been revealed.
The other story is the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11 to 24).
Jesus tells that there was a very, very wealthy man who
had two sons. The sons knew they would inherit everything,
but one son said, "Can I have my inheritance now?"
And the father agreed. So the boy went out with all the
money, more money than wisdom, more wealth than morality.
And he began to spend it on wine, women and song. He lived
it up in immoral living until suddenly one day he came to
the realization that the money was gone. It was all gone.
It had all been used up by himself and his lusty friends.
He had no money for food. Hungry, he saw pigs eating
food in their pen and he climbed in and grabbed food from
the pigs and ate it. Then he came to himself and decided
to go home. The father heard that his son was coming back,
and then comes the moment when the two connect, embracing
each other. That moment was captured so beautifully in Christian
art by Rembrandt and it hangs in the Hermitage Museum in
Leningrad, Russia. It's beautiful.
I purchased a reprint of that painting and asked De
L'Esprie to capture it in bronze so that for the next hundred
years people who visit the Crystal Cathedral gardens can
see this beautiful scene and be touched by it. She did that.
And you see the father in all of his elegant apparel, his
robes with his jewelry. His fine apparel is clean and wealthy.
And grasping the father is the penitent son in his dirty
rags, barefoot with feet scarred. Looking up, the son is
weeping and the father's face is looking up laughing through
joy and tears.
One person, a prodigal son, forgiven comes home. God
will not rebuke him or cast him out saying "Don't touch
Me with your dirty clothes. You'll get My garment dirty.
Don't touch Me with your dirty hands, you will get My robe
stained." NO! They
embrace in tears.
The glory of the Lord is revealed and that is the God
of love that Jesus brought to earth. Jesus is love
come to earth.
What if Jesus Christ had not been born? We would never have had in humanity such
a demonstration that there is a God and He
is a God of love and He values you. Whoever you are
... good or bad.
Jesus revealed beautiful possibilities in
Yes, Jesus revealed beautiful possibilities in every
person and that includes all people. Everyone of us has
a divine purpose ... to bring heaven on earth. That's what
we've got to do wherever we are Monday through Saturday.
We've got to BE a bit of
heaven on earth.
This is the time to think about exchanging gifts and
this year exchange gifts with Jesus Christ. 2,001 years
ago He was born in a manger. The Wise Men gave Him gold,
frankincense and myrrh, and today ask Him to be born again
in your heart and give something more precise than gold.
Give Him your hands, so He can use your hands to do His
work today. Your feet, so they can lead others along the
way. Your tongue to tell people how He died. Your help to
bring them to His side. When that's your gift to Jesus Christ
in exchange for His gift to you, you bring heaven on earth.
Prayer: Lord, love came down at Christmas and love has
come into my heart and I praise and thank You. I pray that
in this Christmas season someone will make a decision to
follow Jesus. A decision to become a believer in Christ.
A decision to begin to read the Holy Book. A decision to
show Christ's love. Amen.