The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. . . . For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
My mom was all about the Christmas stockings. We had huge stockings and they were always overflowing with goodies. I remember the excitement every year on Christmas morning when it got to the time to take down the stockings from the chimney. There was everything from fruit to nuts, and candy to small presents. The stockings being full to overflowing is a picture of the fullness we receive in Christ. Just as there was no room for anymore prizes in our stockings, a heart filled with God is totally overflowing.
Christmas is all about fullness. The fullness of God appeared in God’s Son that first Christmas Day. He came to this earth so that we too could experience the fullness of God. Have you tasted this grace upon grace, this overflowing goodness of God that today’s scripture describes ?Fullness is real and is available for us all. John Piper described “saturating” in God’s fullness one Christmas season, check this out.
“It was a drenching moment for me that Advent. A man in our church had just prayed the words of John 1:14–16 in a pre-service prayer meeting. God granted me in that moment that the word “fullness” fill me. It was an extraordinary experience. There was a kind of Holy Spirit soaking.
I felt some measure of what the word really carries—the fullness of Christ. I felt some of the wonder that I had indeed received grace upon grace from this fullness. And I was at that moment receiving grace upon grace. I felt right then that nothing would have been sweeter than to simply sit at his feet—or read my Bible—all afternoon and feel his fullness overflow.”
I love today’s scripture, John described his own personal experience with God’s fullness. He said that it was received, ‘grace upon grace’. I guess grace upon grace would describe my own spiritual Christmas experiences. Thinking back, my first Christian Christmas was the first time I wasn’t able to return home for Christmas. There were no stockings, no fire place, and very few presents. Parris and I were newly married and we were broke. Yet, we were filled with God’s fullness. I remember reading the scripture verses about the birth of Christ on the Christmas cards; as I read those words, the mystery of the incarnation stuck me. It was as if I was overflowing with joy as the good news of great joy filled my soul with the fullness of God.