Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Greatest Christmas Gift

Another busy holiday season is here and most people's thoughts are turned to family, gifts, goodwill, and world peace. And yet, have you noticed that there seems to be an ever-increasing aggressive and almost militant effort by a few to secularize this season and remove all references to religion in general and Jesus Christ in particular? That seems ludicrous to me; you can argue the pagan origins of a lot of our traditions, but you cannot argue the reason for the season we call Christmas. It is all about the historic celebration of the birth of a baby who made the greatest impact on this world in all of human history. Without Him, Nick would not be a saint, Frosty would not be merry, Rudolf would have no purpose in lighting the darkness and the little drummer boy would have no reason to play his drum.

We are all somewhat familiar with the events around this baby’s birth as they are related in our traditions and recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. To some, He was a prophet, a teacher, a religious leader or a martyr. But He was much, much more than that.

In the opening verses of his Gospel, John reveals something very profound about the unique nature of this baby:
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…Everything that was made was made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made…In Him was life…And the Word became flesh and lived among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1

Have you heard the contemporary Christmas carol, “Mary, Did You Know?” Ponder these great words from that song.
Mary, did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered will soon deliver you…
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you’ve kissed your little baby, then you’ve kissed the face of God.

Think about that. The world loves the tender emotionalism around the birth of this innocent little baby. But that little baby is God and it is improper, if not irrelevant to consider His entrance into the world without understanding His purpose in coming. There in that manger was the Sovereign King of Creation wrapped in filthy rags and lying in a dirty feeding trough. He is the Righteous One of the Universe who opens His arms wide to wicked, sinful men. The Giver of Life, the One who Is Life was born to die. The One who made the Law; the One whose Word is the Law, and the only One who ever kept the Law; the Judge of the world came to offer complete pardon and mercy to undeserving men. The highest was utterly humiliated. In Him, poverty becomes riches, tears become joy, death becomes life, trash becomes treasures and sinners become saints.

And, by the way, the Christmas story, by itself, is a non-event. It is incomplete, in fact, it is meaningless and irrelevant without the Easter story. Jesus Christ, who is God wrapped in human flesh, was born of a virgin, lived a perfect and sinless life, died a horrible death on the cross, was buried and then, three days later He rose from the dead according to the Scriptures. He did that all for me. He paid the penalty for my sins and perfectly satisfied God’s justice. Someone has described it like this: “I owed a debt I could not pay; He paid a debt He did not owe.”
I hope you too, know that your sins are forgiven and that eternal life is yours. If not, why not just ask Him to forgive your sin and receive God’s free gift of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ?

“Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift” II Cor. 9:15

Merry Christmas to you all,