The I AM is WITH US

By Chris Baxter

I have two pictures that keep coming to my heart and mind this Christmas.

It's crazy how opposite they appear; yet, they both reflect one and the same story.

The first picture is found in Ezekiel 1. When I was listening to this chapter on my Bible App earlier this year, the events in this scene "got me."

To paraphrase (and it will only scratch the surface): the prophet Ezekiel is standing by a river when he has a vision of God. The heavens open up and there's a brilliance accompanied by a thunderous noise, along with supernatural beings bearing faces and wings. With all of this, there's a chariot with four gleaming wheels that all dart back and forth, moving in unison. This kinetic-radiance is a mere backdrop to what Ezekiel explained next:

"And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire, and seated above the likeness of a throne, was the likeness with a human appearance...and there was a brightness around him...such was the appearance of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face..." Ezekiel 1:26, 28

To fill in all the blanks with brilliant, word-for-word truth, please read ALL of Ezekiel 1!

In contrast to this other-worldly picture, and because we're now in the full thrust of the Christmas season, I can't help but think of Luke 2 (another great read!).

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The great I AM in a lowly feeding trough.

The Light of the world wrapped in a blanket.

The Creator was willing to be cradled.

He emptied himself...he humbled himself...

to be WITH US.

There is no greater love!

This Christmas, and then throughout the year, let's be awed by both

his glory and his grace,

his majesty and his mercy,

his light and his love.

The King of kings,

the Holy One,

the Humble One

has come.

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:

"I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly,, and to revive the heart of the contrite." Isaiah 57:15

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Dear Lord,

Your Spirit among believers is powerful and invasive! Use us to speak your name to those who do not know you. Thank you for your filling; may we now be poured out. Amen.