Christmas 1978. Waiting for my sister and I that Christmas morning was a brand new kind of Christmas gift: an Atari 2600. This little black and brown box was the first video game system I had ever seen, much less owned. I still remember setting it up on a card table in the dining room, plugging it into a little black and white tube television, and playing a game called “Circus Atari.” It was awesome.
Somehow, I think kids today don’t appreciate all they have. Today’s games are in HD, look like real life, and are played on TV screens the size of scoreboards circa 1978. Atari games were played on 10 inch tubes, did not support graphics in circles (square shapes only), and were totally 2D. I lived in a neighborhood full of little boys who would have loved to have just one afternoon playing Madden Football on an XBox 360. Colecovision was the best we could do.
I was thinking of this today as I read Luke 10:23-24, where Jesus talks about how lucky the disciples were to see the first advent of the Son of God:
Then turning to the disciples He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
Since Adam and Eve first sinned in the Garden, people had longed to see the coming of the Messiah . . . the One God had promised would crush the head of the snake, and set people free from the bondage of their sin. For centuries, mankind had longed for Messiah’s coming, but did not see it. For centuries, humanity struggled on in Standard Definition, longing for the HD deliverance that would one day come. When Jesus was born, He gave a new gift that had been long hoped for, but never seen. He gave them Himself. That is why Jesus tells His disciples that they are so fortunate to see with their own eyes Messiah in the flesh.
Some 2,000 years later, as we celebrate Christmas this year, we need to be reminded of just how fortunate we are. We live on the “right” side of Christmas. We do not have to look forward to His coming one day, we get to look back on His sacrifice and revelation. However, many of us fail to appreciate this blessing. Like a kid who is unimpressed with Madden 2012 (because they have seen Madden 2011), too many of us take for granted the blessing of knowing the real meaning of Christmas.
So, this year, as you mail Christmas cards, wrap gifts, attend parties, and drink egg nog, REMEMBER: Prophets and Kings longed to see the revelation of Messiah’s coming that we have so readily accessible to us in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Appreciate the blessing of worshipping Christ, our new born King this holiday season.