Sunday, December 24, 2006

Why Christmas Matters

Somehow, amidst the snow, presents, meals and shopping of this Christmas season, we would do well to meditate on why we, as Christians, celebrate this day. You may wonder why it is necessary to be reminded of this since both the church and secular society provide reminders of the baby Jesus, whether through songs, sermons or pithy clichés stating "Jesus is the Reason for the Season." While it is important to remember whose birth we celebrate it is past time that the church dug a little deeper. Look past the shepherds, past the angels, beyond the star and even beyond the manger and ask yourself not "who" we are celebrating, but "why" we are celebrating. That is to say, ask yourself why it matters that Christ was born.

When we look at the baby Jesus, do we recognize the God of the universe? When we think of Him as the divine child, do we realize He became completely human? Philippians 2:6-8 states that Christ, “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” While impossible to completely understand, the Bible teaches that Christ was completely God yet completely man. In fact, He took on the nature of a servant and obediently submitted Himself to die for all of us.

This Christmas, look past the manager and see the cross; look past the crowded stable and see the empty tomb. Christ’s birth did not have the power to redeem, but was the necessary beginning of a life with one clear purpose. Christ was born to die and that death is what bought us life.

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