Who was it exactly, who was born in Bethlehem so long ago. John makes it clear at the beginning of his Gospel:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
The One who was born was the Word, and the Word had been with God from the very beginning, and in fact was God in John’s rather heavenly perspective. That baby was responsible for creating the entire universe. That baby brought “light” and that light was the life of men, and yet this dark world did not understand the light.
I will concede that this might be a little too lofty a perspective; unless you read the entire Gospel of John. Throughout the book, John uses “light” as a metaphor for Truth, and darkness as a metaphor for Evil. With that in mind, let’s try again:
That baby was full of truth, that truth brings and gives life. He came into a dark (evil) world, and the inhabitants of that dark world did not understand who the baby was, and for the most part, they rejected him.
How can we be sure this is correct?
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
We know all of this because John told us so! He also mentioned that he was an eye-witness to this One, and that he personally saw who He was (and is).
What shall we conclude from this view?
That baby in the manger was God become flesh: This was no normal birth.
What are we celebrating this Christmas time? We are celebrating the merger (so to speak) between God and Man, a whole new epoch. This season, therefore is not just about parties, entertaining, buying things and amusement. It really isn’t just “for the children” it is very much more than all of that. The Christmas Season marks the day when God began to manifest His ultimate purpose: The redemption of all Mankind to fellowship with Him.
I wonder if most of us might consider treating this occasion with a little more respect than we usually do.