Luke 2:
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”

The angels proclaimed ‘Glory to God in the highest’. What is this thing called glory?

In the Old Testament, the word for "glory" is the Hebrew word, "kabowd," which carries the idea of heaviness and weight. In the New Testament, the Greek word is "doxa," which carries the idea of opinion, judgment, estimate, splendour, brightness, etc. It is used to speak of great honour, praise, value, wonder, and splendour.[1]

The brilliant splendour and worth of God is substantially heavier than the lightweight glory of lesser beings. Christmas celebrations are times of giving attention and glory to much lesser beings than Christ.

And, who are the heroes of Christmas?

Mary? Joseph? The Magi? The shepherds? Frosty the Snowman? Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Burl Ives? Jolly Old Saint Nick?

John Piper once said, “All heroes are shadows of Christ.” [2] 

When we think about the elaborate glory of Christmas songs, movies and characters, let’s remember who the real hero is. The glory of Christmas emanates from Jesus.

Saint Nicholas was an ancient pastor who happened to do charitable work for the poor in his community. Just another human hero, misguided fans have turned him into a mythological super-hero. Perhaps the original Nicholas would tear out his beard at the ridiculous representations of a man who was simply trying to live in the shadow of his Lord.

He would turn our attention to Jesus. He would not want to be the villain who stole God’s glory.

[2] Lina AbuJamra, Stripped: When God’s Call Turns From ‘Yes’ To ‘Why Me?’, Moody Publishers, Appendix