…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection...
- Philippians 3:10
J.C. Ryle once wrote, “Familiarity with sacred things has an awful tendency to make men despise them.”
Too often, this is true in my life, maybe more so at Christmas.
I can be so familiar with Jesus that I neglect the mind-blowingly reality of the incarnation.
I forget to “confess the mystery and wonder of God made flesh and rejoice in our great salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
I overlook that “with the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Son created all things, sustains all things, and makes all things new. Truly God, He became truly man, two natures in one person.”
I downplay that “He was born of the Virgin Mary and lived among us. Crucified, dead, and buried, He rose on the third day, ascended to heaven, and will come again in glory and judgment.”
I fail to appreciate that “For us, He kept the Law, atoned for sin, and satisfied God's wrath. He took our filthy rags and gave us His righteous robe. He is our Prophet, Priest, and King, building His church, interceding for us, and reigning over all things. Jesus Christ is Lord...”
This Christmas, we need to remember that knowing Jesus is like knowing Mount Everest. For those who know it, Everest is breathtaking—it entices, eludes, and exhilarates.
If you are bored of Everest, it's because you're looking at pictures and reading books about it—you're not climbing it.
Today's Reflection & Action:
What mysteries and wonders are you taking for granted this Christmas? How can you protect yourself against the pitfall of familiarity?
Fight familiarity this Christmas by memorizing the Ligonier Christology Statement (the italic words). Your knowledge and love for Christ ought not to breed contempt. Instead, let it breed faith.
Paper Sunday is blessed to collaborate with Chris Harper on this Advent Devotional Series.
Chris Harper is a speaker, writer, and disciple-maker. Chris is President of 252Edu, a consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas. Chris serves schools, churches, and non-profits by helping them "grow in wisdom, favor and stature with God and man.”
When not taking ground for King Jesus, you can find Chris on the basketball court playing a pick-up game. Chris is a sneakerhead, an avid reader, and loves a good cheeseburger. You can follow him @252consulting on Instagram.