The Invisible God

Christmas 2020 will have a uniquely important place in our lives. 

It’s different, yet the same. 

It’s not as merry, yet more profound. 

It’s not what we would have chosen, yet it is what God has chosen to allow. 

Christmas 2020 should be celebrated.

The only thing I really understand about this year is that God wants us to listen and learn. He has called us to be quietly careful this year. 

God has a crucial Christmas message for us, and we need to hear it, speak it, write it, preach it, and live it. 

Christmas is about God’s revelation to the world: the invisible God became visible. 

The Invisible God became a baby 

Why did God become a baby? 

Why did God want countless generations of people to worship at a manger? 

Those questions are answered in the book of Hebrews. We are to go to the manger so we can worship “the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). 

Jesus left the joy of heaven to lie in a manger. Jesus was born as a baby so he could live and die as our perfect, sacrificial lamb. Jesus is the “founder of our faith” and the One who will “perfect our faith” when we worship him. 

If you had been one of the shepherds in the field that night . . . 

If you had seen the miraculous light of God’s glory . . . 

If you had heard the heavenly chorus of angels . . . 

If you had knelt before the newborn baby, lying in a manger . . . 

You would have seen the invisible God made visible. 

The image of the invisible God 

The apostle Paul said when the shepherds saw the baby in the manger, they saw “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15–17). 

When you and I worship at the manger, we are worshiping the greatness of God, the humility of God, the provision of God—born to make us perfect enough to one day live with God in heaven. You and I are invited to view the image of the invisible God when we kneel with the shepherds at the manger. 

Jesus is holding all things together 

When things feel out of control, we should remember who is in control. 

God allowed a virus to change this Christmas season, so we can trust that God has a plan to redeem this Christmas for his higher purpose. 

Jesus is holding all things together, including Christmas 2020. Mary held the image of the invisible God in her arms; now Jesus holds the life of every believer in his.

The light behind your mask 

Aren’t you tired of face masks? 

Jesus told us not to put our light under a bushel basket, but, honestly, it seems we have stuck it behind our masks. How can we share the joy of the season if no one can see our smiles? 

How can we be the light of Christ in spite of our masks? 

Only Jesus knows how to answer that question, and his answers will be individual and personal. He is the one holding all those answers together. “All things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16). And that verse includes his plans for Christmas 2020. 

How will you make the image of the invisible God visible? 

God already has that answer for each of us. 

Christians are still the light of the world, even behind our masks. 

God is still invisible to some 

Christmas is a good time to study people with spiritual discernment. Some celebrate a baby while others celebrate a season. It isn’t hard to pick out the people who have worshiped with the shepherds and others for whom God still remains invisible. 

In fact, Christmas has become increasingly void of Christ. That blame falls on God’s children, not Hollywood or the politicians. It was never the job of our television sets or government to make Christmas about Jesus. Jesus told us, not the Hollywood producers, to go and make disciples. (And it’s great when the Lord calls his people to be Christian evangelical producers or politicians along the way!) 

A lot of people in our culture still believe God is invisible because he seems nonexistent. Whom can we bring to the manger this Christmas so he or she will be able to see his reality? 

That isn’t a rhetorical question. 

Will you ask God for specific names? 

If we see Jesus this Christmas 

I’ve allowed myself to imagine the moment when I see Jesus face-to-face. 

Most of us have a mental image of our Lord, but he no longer looks like a baby in a manger or a Galilean carpenter who carried his cross. 

God made himself visible in Christ, but we still see him vaguely from this side of heaven. The apostle John told us to look for our conquering hero riding on a white horse (Revelation 19). That’s the description of Jesus the moment he will be made visible to everyone. 

The apostle Paul also described Jesus as he is today: “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9–11).

Be still and know He is God 

The only thing I understand about 2020 is that God has called us to listen and learn. 

We should be carefully quiet so we can discern his voice. 

This Christmas, I’m called to bring people to the manger so they can meet and worship Jesus. Scripture promises there is a time coming when everyone will see the image of the invisible God face-to-face. 

God has a crucial Christmas message for all of us. 

If Jesus makes himself eternally visible this Christmas, are you ready? 

“O come, all ye faithful
Joyful and triumphant
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem
O Come let us adore him Christ the Lord.”