Christmas Treasure in Jars of Clay

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  – 2 Corinthians 4:6-7

It was a gift so wonderful that the very angels of God announced its coming.  The glory of the Lord lit up the night sky and angel of the Lord appeared and proclaimed the good news to a handful of shepherds outside of Bethlehem.  A Savior had been born to them, he is Christ the Lord.  The one chosen by God to reconcile sinners and a holy God, had come.  The angel proclaimed this good news of great joy, and then suddenly an angel host praised God that he had sent this gift of peace to earth.  But how would this message go out to the rest of the world?  Angels would not appear to every person in every nation to announce this message, but rather it was God’s will that this message would be shared by normal everyday people.  This lasting treasure, this precious gift would be carried from person to person.

The shepherds would hear the good news. They would hasten to the manger to see this thing that had happened.  They saw the glory of God in the face of Christ.  The promised light had come to rescue us from the dark curse of sin and death.  A Savior had been born for them and for all people and so they hurried off to tell others about what they had seen.  Mary would take in the events of this special night and she would ponder it all in her heart, and then this young woman would tell others about this child.  Wise men from the east would later seek out this child.  They would come and worship this child who was the King of heaven and earth, and then they would take the long way home and on their way and when they finally returned they would no doubt  tell others about this special child. Much later, a man who lived in the desert and dressed in camel’s hair, would point to the one who had been born in Bethlehem, as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  Then Jesus himself, as a grown man, would select a group of ordinary men and teach them about God’s extraordinary plan of salvation.  And having accomplished this plan he would then send these men out to share the message to the world.

Jesus is the Christ.  He is the Son of God.  He took on flesh to live and die in our place.  He was born to take away our sin and replace it with his righteousness.  He was born to take away the curse of sin and death and replace it with the peace of God and the sure hope of eternal life. By God’s grace this message has lit up our hearts with peace and joy and God has placed this saving message in our hands so that we may share it.  He has given this good news to normal, ordinary people, and he has given us this extraordinary task of sharing this message with the world.

In essence that is what Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians are all about.  As sinners saved by Christ we not only get to treasure the good news of the gospel, but we get to carry this saving message to others.  This Christmas let us remember this wonderful purpose and opportunity that God has given to us.  We have been given the light of the gospel and like the shepherds and the rest of these ordinary people this extraordinary message is ours to treasure and to share.  We have seen the glory of God in the face of the newborn Christ, so let us spread the word concerning this child.


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