“Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God will shine forth.” Psalm 50:2
God will shine forth.” Psalm 50:2
Nothing says perfection to our human race than a newborn baby. Not that any baby is perfect, but our nature draws us towards the undefiled character of one who has yet to react internally per his/her sinful compulsions to the fallen world they have been deposited into. Last night in talking with a friend, she was relating how she made a comment to her grown son about his need to be careful in raising their sweet newborn and consider what is deemed “acceptable” and “unacceptable” behavior for the child at a very young age, so as not to dismiss a behavior now, only to realize in the future that the same behavior from an older child is not as cute or permissible. The underlying truth of what this friend was trying to say to her son, was that human nature is bent toward sin and even a child we can look on at birth as perfect in our sight, has a nature within that is not perfect and that will always make itself known.
But Jesus was both God and man, and His God-nature did not allow the human nature to defile His perfection. Jesus came as a perfect baby, but the beauty of who He came as was never changed from before the time He was born, to when He was born, to when He died on the cross, rose from the dead, even until now and into eternity.
In continuing my reading in The Attributes of God by AW Tozer, he related the Christmas story with the attribute of perfection and I thought it some fitting words to share as we are only 12 days away from this beautiful celebration:
“Was there anything more beautiful than the story of Jesus' birth?...Was there anything lovelier than to be the Creator of His won mother, to have made the very body that gave Him protection and bore Him at last into the world? Was anything more awful and awesome and mysterious than that God-Man walking about among men, saying, 'I behold Satan as lightening fall from heaven' (Luke 10:18) and 'Before Abraham was, I am' (John 8:58)? He was 'the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father' (John 1:18). All beauty centers around Jesus Christ. That is why, apart from the commercialism, Christmas is such a beautiful thing...Jesus Christ came to us, for 'God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself' (2 Corinthians 5:19). Oh, how beautiful is the thought that God came to us in that lowly manger bed! How beautiful that He came to us and walked among us! He came with our shape and form, bearing on Himself our humanity, that He might cleanse, purify, purge, remake and restore us, in order to take us back with Him again to that place which is the perfection of beauty...heaven.” AW Tozer
Jesus was for mankind, perfection and beauty. Not as we naturally define perfection and beauty because we are tainted and do not see truth as we ought. Also, the perfection of the Lord has not left this earth just because Jesus is not in human form walking among us any longer. The Holy Spirit has continued on with spreading the perfect beauty of the Lord through the work of the faithful hearts and hands that are offered into His service.
And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17
Jesus is still the center, as He has been since the beginning. His temple of perfect beauty is not complete as He is building His people into His holy temple and dwelling place. He is the foundation, a perfect foundation, and on His perfect foundation He is putting the perfect pieces that build the perfect dwelling place for His Spirit to reside.
“Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:20-22
Our human nature does not allow us to comprehend what this perfect temple looks like, but even so Jesus still calls each of us who believe upon Him and follow Him to become part of it. The cradle of Christmas was only the laying of the foundation for this perfect temple that would shine the most glorious beauty that has every been displayed in all eternity. The old bricks from before the laying of the foundation had been stored up and new bricks had yet to be molded for the temple's completion, but God knew exactly how they would all fit together on the perfect foundation of Jesus, His Son.
The question we have been given to ask ourselves above all else as we consider the perfection of the Christ child in the manger this Christmas is, “Are you willing to be shaped into God's designed for your place in this temple that is laid upon the perfection of Christ so that you too can become part of His perfection?” As always, the answer is simple, but not easy.