I was an unusual child. Most pre-school children don’t have any collections to speak of. And even as they grow older they tend to collect the same things. Some collect baseball cards, others stamps. When I was in grade school, I collected beer cans. But as strange as that is, my first collection takes the cake. I collected hats. Family friends called me neither R.C. nor Craig. I wasn’t known to anyone as Junior, either. Instead, they called me the hat man. What’s stranger still was that at that age, hats were not quite as needful as they are to me now. On sunny days, a hat keeps me from getting sunburned. On cloudy days, a hat keeps me warm.
Though I collect and wear hats less now than when I was a small boy, in another sense I wear a large number of hats. In fact, right now I am wearing two hats. I am both the editor-in-chief of Tabletalk magazine and a regular writer for Tabletalk magazine. I have other roles that I play at Ligonier, other hats that I wear. I write and edit for other folks as well. I teach for Ligonier from time to time, and I teach in other venues. I am a pastor at Saint Peter Presbyterian Church. (And though I wear a robe there, I don’t wear a bishop’s mitre.) And all this yet fails to get to the very center of my calling: my roles as a husband and a father. I have so many hats I no longer have time for a hobby, including collecting hats.
Because we are made for work, work in part defines what we are. Though it is appropriate, as systematic theologians do, to speak distinctly about the person and the work of Christ, in another sense the two are inseparable. Just as Jesus did not don the role of “Son” to the Father, so too Jesus did not merely act as a prophet, act like a priest, and act like a king. Instead, these are a vital part of defining who He is. If we would contemplate Christ during this season, we must contemplate not just the Christ who was that first Christmas morn, but who Christ was, and is, and evermore shall be.
At the right hand of the Father sits the Word, He who continually makes intercession for us, the King of kings, the Christ child now grown. One day we will have the scales removed, and find ourselves coram Deo, before the face of God. There we will join the everlasting song. There our praises we will bring to Jesus—our Prophet, our Priest, and our King.