In ancient times, few people were given the privilege of seeing God. While we aren’t told that Abraham actually saw God face to face, we know that God valued Abraham so much that he was called “the friend of God.” It was an amazing closeness.
However, for the Hebrews to acknowledge that a man would have friendship with their G-d was not even logical. Jehovah’s name alone was so holy that the Jewish people dare not speak it. Therefore, when spelling G-d’s name, the vowels are left out so it cannot be pronounced.
Understand, this is a sensible precaution considering the history of mankind-and-God’s tentative relationship. We note that God loves. Man rejects his love through sin. God continues to love. Women and men fail. God loves. We finally fail so completely that the only answer is to turn to God. God forgives in his love. God and man live in harmony for a time and then the cycle begins again.
Therefore, it is amazing that God’s mercy and grace reached out to us to give to us his son. He is a man whom we can touch and with whom we can experience God’s forgiving love through a personal relationship. We are no longer slaves but friends.
I often tell people that I’m God’s favorite. Most people laugh. Some get angry. Yet, it is the fact that God desires to have a personal relationship with me that leads me to believe that I must be his favorite. I know who I am and how much I must be forgiven each day. Still, he loves me. He desires to be my friend!
Christmas reminds us that God became a man in order that we might become a friend of God, having a face-to-face relationship. Through our own efforts, we cannot obtain forgiveness or peace. Ironically, achievement isn’t necessary. Acceptance of God’s grace is. Jesus’ birth means that we come face to face with God and we share in his love with total abandonment and joy.