It’s hard to find someone who consistently tells the truth. All the time. But God does. Every time. He never lies to us. He can’t. It’s not in his nature. He is constantly true and faithful. Which means he is reliable. In an unpredictable world where it’s hard to know who or what to believe, it’s a delight and relief to serve a God of truth.
At the first Advent, the shepherds were told something by God that was initially hard to believe. The fact the message was delivered by angels no doubt gave them some confidence in the veracity of the message, but nevertheless the news that the Messiah – the long-awaited Chosen One had been born – was (literally) incredible! So the shepherds decided to go and see for themselves if it was true. Aided by some specific and unusual guidance helping them recognise the baby (Lk 2:12) they finally found him. And what they found did not disappoint! Because it was true!!! It was ‘just as they had been told’ (Lk 2:20).
This baby – Jesus Christ – was the embodiment of God. The God-king. God incarnate. If God is true, tells the truth and reveals truth then it shouldn’t surprise us that Christ later describes himself as ‘the truth’ (Jn 14:6), speaking transformative words of truth. This is the Jesus who is known to us today by his Spirit, ‘the Spirit of truth’ (Jn 16:13).
In a relativistic culture which tries to tell us that there’s no such thing as truth, or that everything is true in its own way, the fact that Jesus comes to us as ‘Advent Truth’ is challenging to say the least. Because in the end, Christ either is the truth, or he isn’t. Many would like there to be some middle ground here – with Christ being some kind of good moral teacher not to worship but to respect – but as CS Lewis put it, ‘he has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.’ He either is the embodiment of truth, or he isn’t. He either is the revealer of truth, or he isn’t.
If, like many today, you’re not sure if you believe in truth or not, why not come to Christ this Advent and see if he is who he says he is? The great pastor of the last century, Richard Wurmbrand who was imprisoned and dreadfully tortured by the communists put it like this: ‘Lie quietly in the sun and it will tan you. Lie quietly on Jesus’ bosom and truth will envelop and warm you.’
If you’re feeling wobbly about life, about who you are and where you’re going, come to Christ, and allow him to speak his truth to you. Open one of the gospels and let God’s word of truth (Jn 17:17) wash, restore and inspire you.
This Christmas may we all, like the shepherds, know that truth is found in the person of Jesus Christ, and that what God says is reliable and true. May it be ‘just as you’ve been told.’
ACTION: Ask yourself, frankly: ‘do I know that Jesus Christ is the embodiment of truth?’ Write down in your Notebook your answer: yes or no. If ‘no’, what is stopping you coming to him and asking him to reveal himself to you? Be honest with your answers and write them down. If your answer is ‘yes’ think about how you’ve come to that conclusion and the difference it makes to your life. Again, write a few lines of notes in your Notebook
PRAY: If you want to know truth and the God of truth, welcome Jesus Christ into your life and ask him to reveal the truth of God to you. He will. Pray for someone known to you who is confused, lost and has believed things that are not true about themselves. Finally pray for those involved in terrorist atrocities around the world, that they would have a revelation of truth about themselves and what they’re doing and change – that they would know the truth and be set free (Jn 8:32).