“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2: 11-14)
One of my very favorite Christmas Scriptures is here where the Apostle Paul wrote to Titus that the grace of God appeared on that first Christmas Eve when Christ was born. His Church should always be looking forward to what he calls “the blessed hope” which is the appearing of Christ in His Second Coming.
In these Christmas verses Paul writes that between these two appearances of Jesus Christ God wants to appear to this world through His special people by the way they adorn their belief with good works and godly living. The word “special” is sometimes translated “peculiar” or “unique.”
Great paintings are valuable because they are peculiar. If there is another painting exactly like a particular painting it loses its value. Paul counseled Titus that it is critical to have spiritual people in his church who will adorn their belief with good works and be peculiar people through whom God appears to this present age.
There is a Christmas that was when God first appeared to us. There is a Christmas that shall be when God appears through the return of Christ. And there is the Christmas that is as God appears through believers like you and me.
Are you willing to be the Christmas that is for those who know you today?
Dick Woodward, 25 December 2012