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The Glory of God Wrapped in Swaddling Cloths

The Glory of God Wrapped in Swaddling Cloths
By Dr. Matt Ayars
President Wesley Biblical Seminary

This past Sunday my pastor said something that has stuck with me: “At Christmas, we are reminded that the glory of God is disguised in the ordinary.”

Psalm 19 says, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God, And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” It’s not hard to see the glorious majesty of God in a sunset, in a booming thunderstorm, or in a masterful musical arrangement. It’s another matter, however, to see the glory of God in a primitive stable nestled in a small, backwater town.

Jesus Himself is the preeminent icon of the glory of God. If you want to know what God looks like, look at Jesus. If you want to see the power, purity, goodness, mercy, wisdom, and love of God, cast your eyes to Jesus. More than a sunrise or mount Everest, Jesus declares the glory of God.

It is fascinating to think that in the moment of Christmas, all of God’s glory is wrapped up in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. What did the magi think when they arrived at the place to which the glorious star led them to find a poor couple with domesticated animals? This little family could hardly compare to the celestial lights! Undoubtedly, the magi were expecting something different. Perhaps they were expecting to find a royal family in a palace with marble floors, majestic halls, and ornate furniture. That’s not what they found.

What were the shepherds expecting to find after witnessing a heavenly host sing praises to God for the birth of one unlike any other? Were they expecting Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and more sheep?

In this moment, the wonderful glory of God is surprisingly disguised in the ordinary.

Will you join me in looking for the glory of God disguised in the ordinary this Christmas? God’s glory can be found in the ordinary moments of visiting friends and family, cooking special meals for the holidays, singing classic Christmas hymns at church, or even having coffee with a friend.

It is not a stretch to imagine that the magi and the shepherds had to do a double-take to make sure they were at the right place. “This baby wrapped in modest cloths and lying in a manger takes the cake among all things that declare the glory of God? This baby? This stable? This family? The answer was and is, yes.

If you must, do a double-take this Christmas. Slow down and look for where God’s glory is disguised and waiting to be discovered. When we discover it, it changes everything.

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