And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
At the end of a trip to the Philippines, I was sitting on a beach on the western side of Cebu Island. Across a channel was the island of Negros.
The sun was setting.
I’ve never seen the color red like at that moment. The sky turned red, the mountains of Negros were red, the sea was red, and the sand at my feet was red. My wife, next to me, looked at my white hair and said, “Even your hair is red.”
The sunset was an inspiration.
A few months later, my wife and I were walking at dusk down a street in Manhattan. I looked up at a tall skyscraper, one made of reflecting glass. It was red.
I couldn’t see the sunset because I was in the shadows. I knew there was a sunset, but I could only see the reflection.
The Apostle John writes, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son.”
The angels in Luke 2 announced the birth of Jesus by singing…
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased.
John describes glory that we behold in Jesus. The angels in Luke sing of the glory of God the Father and of the only begotten Son! Both describe a transcendent God, motivated by love, who gives up glory to become man.
The glory of God is both eminence and humility, authority and obedience. A King who becomes a suffering servant.
The Greek word for glory is “doxa”. Glory means more than honor – it’s prime substance, raw energy, purity, and impossible to see fully as sinners. Glory challenges, rips apart darkness, and destroys all lies.
Nothing can touch or imitate the glory of God. To be seen and experienced, God’s glory became flesh.
The Apostle Paul writes:
We all become like mirrors who brightly reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus. We are being transfigured into his very image as we move from one brighter level of glory to another. And this glorious transfiguration comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).
At Christmas we see Jesus. Though His glory is dampened by His flesh – we become like Jesus through obedience. Paul writes:
For our light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comprehension (2 Corinthians 4:17).
While in Manhattan, looking up at the tall building reflecting the sunset, I walked into a park with unobscured views. There it was – the sunset. I was no longer in the shadows.
My hair turned red.
God is full glory. Jesus is glory in flesh. As followers, we reflect His glory.
Impossible to see God’s full glory, so He sent Jesus. A child wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Now Jesus sends us.
We follow Jesus and become His servants! (Reflected red hair is optional.)